Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Mario Castro


Retention of students through the completion of the nursing degree is a problem that exists at local Texas nursing programs, adding to the nursing shortage at local Texas hospitals. The purpose of this qualitative research study was to identify the best practices used by a local Texas college with graduation rates above the benchmark of 85% set by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The study framework was based on Bandura's theory of self-efficacy and Tinto's theory of student retention. The research questions for the study focused on reasons the college maintained a high retention rate, best practices currently used, changes to best practices, which best practices contributed to student retention, and additional best practices that could be implemented. The boundaries for the case study included current dean's ambassadors, traditional faculty, and recent dean's ambassadors who graduated within 3 months of the project study. The case study method of qualitative research used 30 minute Skype or telephone interviews to collect personal perceptions and opinions from 5 participant volunteers from a 2-year or 4-year nursing program. Data analysis included grouping similar in vivo codes together into major and minor themes. The results of my project study revealed best practices used at the college included faculty availability, faculty support, office hours, mentoring, tutoring, and retention counselors. Only 1 participant had knowledge and was familiar with the term self-efficacy. Based on these results a faculty professional development project was created to provide information on academic self-efficacy in the form of a 3-day, evidence-based workshop. This project may lead to positive social change by providing faculty information that may be used to plan and refine a curriculum on self-efficacies, which could benefit nursing students and increase retention.