Reasons minority associate degree nursing students withdraw from their programs




McWha, Jennifer

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As the global nursing shortage is expected to continue over the next decade, and with the continuing rise in diversity of the American population, increasing the number of minority students prepared to enter the nursing workforce is imperative. An increase of ethnic minority enrollments for nursing programs nationwide is evident, yet completion rates for minorities are lower than their non-minority classmates. A remarkable burden has been placed on nurse educators to increase the number of professional nursing graduates for purposes of providing care both in both acute and non-acute settings due to current workforce demands in healthcare.

The current study utilized a sample of eight minorities previously enrolled in associate degree nursing (ADN) programs in South Texas to understand the process of student decision-making when leaving a nursing program prior to fulfilling degree requirements. A qualitative, grounded-theory approach using Symbolic Interactionism as the philosophical framework was conducted using semi-structured interviews; data was analyzed through the use of open, axial, and selective coding.

Major concepts identified from interviews and subsequent coding included personal circumstances, situational discomfort, redefining expectations, juggling priorities, and attempts to adapt. Utilizing the constant comparison technique two predominating categories surfaced during data analysis that included balancing and weighing the options. A description of the processes used by minority students in deciding to withdraw from their programs that will ultimately be used in a mature theory was created. This process incorporated educator and institutional implementations that would be necessary to achieve a goal of increasing the chances of success and degree completion for minority ADN students.

Interventions suggested for increasing degree completion in minority ADN students include implementing information sessions prior to student enrollment in the nursing curriculum, pairing up incoming minority students with students in higher levels of the nursing program, seeking out well-qualified nursing faculty, increasing the quality and cultural sensitivity of material on nursing exams, and finding ways to help students find and afford child care.



Health and environmental sciences, Associate degrees, Minority attrition, Minority nursing students, Minority retention, Minority success, Nursing student withdraw