Date of Conferral





Public Health


Richard Jimenez


School nurses who transition from hospital or clinic-based settings to a school-based work environment often lack sufficient transitioning skills and orientation to cope with the roles and responsibilities of school-based nursing. The result is a high attrition rate among school-based nurses. School nurses may leave their positions due to experiences of marginalization, including isolation, role confusion, and barriers to practice. In this phenomenological study, the lived experiences of 12 school-based nurses who transitioned from hospital or clinical settings were explored. Bandura's self-efficacy and Spreitzer's psychological empowerment theories were used in interpreting the findings. Data were collected via face-to-face individual interviews with nurses residing in the State of Maryland. The study findings revealed the difficulties experienced by these nurses during the initial years of their transition to school nursing. Multitasking was very challenging at the initial stage of transition for nurses who were new to school-based-practice. For nurses who were learning to navigate the school system, adhering to educational standards and protocols while setting appropriate priorities to provide quality nursing care for students was difficult. The nurses' understanding of health and wellness shaped and influenced their decision to continue with school nursing to help students reach their maximum health and academic achievements. This study may lead to positive social change by helping readers to better understand the transition process for hospital-based nurses who enter the school environment. With an improved understanding of this population, it may be possible to lower attrition and burnout rates among school nurses.