Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
To offset the cost and meet the demand for high quality nursing graduates, adjunct faculty members are hired to educate students in the practice settings. Adjunct faculty may not have access to the resources allocated to full-time faculty and may not feel empowered to provide the most effective educational experiences for the students. The purpose of this quantitative study was to measure factors that influence empowerment in adjunct faculty members teaching in an associate degree nursing program at a community college located in the Midwestern United States. The study also examined whether there is a difference in the empowerment of novice faculty, defined as instructors who were employed 2 years or less at this institution, and expert faculty who were classified based on their employment 3 years or more. Kanter's theory of structural empowerment and Knowles's principles of adult learning provided the theoretical base for the study. The Conditions of Work Effectiveness Questionnaire-II, which was designed to measure 4 empowerment factors of the workplace, was administered to a convenience sample of 53 adjunct faculty members (20 novice and 33 expert faculty). The Mann-Whitney U test found no significant difference in total survey scores between novice and expert adjunct faculty members. The mean subscale scores identified that limited access to information and support were the 2 factors most influencing empowerment in this sample. Based on the results, a faculty development/mentoring program was developed to provide the adjunct faculty with the resources needed for empowerment. Future research on other factors associated with faculty effectiveness should be explored. Social change can occur by empowering the adjunct faculty members, thereby improving the quality of education afforded to nursing students in this associate degree nursing program.