Date of Conferral



Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)




Anne M. Valdez


AbstractNursing constitutes the largest group of healthcare professionals in the United States. Despite decades of discussion about the need to diversify the nursing profession, there continues to be a significant lack of diversity, particularly in the number of Hispanic nurses. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the lived experiences of Hispanic nursing students who have enrolled in a pre-licensure nursing program using Leininger’s culture care theory as the theoretical framework for this phenomenological study. This study sought to explore the lived experiences of the prelicensure Hispanic nursing student attempting to complete nursing school successfully and what factors help or hinder the prelicensure Hispanic nursing student navigate the challenges of nursing school. Semistructured interviews with 12 prelicensure Hispanic nursing students from California and Florida were conducted via telephone. The data were transcribed, manually coded, and categorized into four themes using a modified Husserlian approach. The themes were: “I can help,” “I don’t know,” I need help,” and “I can do this.” Findings from this study were that Hispanic students were not aware of nursing as a career option and felt prepared for the rigor of nursing school. Recommendations based on this study are to introduce nursing as a career option to middle schools, develop mentoring programs, and to evaluate how the Hispanic student is educated about financial support and scholarships that are available. Results from this study can be used to promote positive social change through a cultural understanding that leads to a diverse nursing workforce, which may result in decreased health care disparities and improved patient care outcomes in the United States.

Included in

Nursing Commons