Date of Conferral







Edna Hull


The nursing shortage in the United States has led to a call for nursing education reform. Current clinical educational methods precipitate nursing student performance anxiety (PA). PA can inhibit the clinical judgment, reasoning, critical thinking, and the adaptability required for advancing healthcare initiatives and reducing the nursing shortage. PA has not been defined nor addressed in undergraduate nursing education. The purpose of this descriptive phenomenological study was to explore the lived experiences of associate degree (AD) nursing program faculty in addressing student PA as it occurs in the clinical setting. Specifically, how faculty define PA and recognize, address, and assess learning in the presence of PA. Experiences of clinical nursing faculty were viewed through the conceptual framework of Carl Rogers’ humanism. Semistructured, one-on-one interviews were conducted with 11 AD program members with at least one year of clinical nursing education experience in New York state. Analysis of data followed Creswell’s and Creswell’s five-step process. Themes from the data included quality of the clinical environment and philosophies and behaviors of both faculty and the nursing student. Results compel reform in clinical nursing evaluation methods, role development for clinical nursing faculty, and a nursing-centric definition of PA. The results of this study affect positive social change through change initiatives in nursing education, academic administration, practice, policy, theory, and methodology, leading to a more resilient and retained nursing workforce. A more prepared nursing workforce can improve the organizations and communities they serve, thus improving human and social conditions. Future studies should explore interventions for PA.