AuthorAllis, Donna Jean
Committee ChairRhoades, Gary
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this case study was to explore, from the perspective of students enrolled in a baccalaureate evangelical nursing program, the process of learning to care as a professional nurse. A modified symbolic interactionist perspective guided the study. The specific research questions focused on identification of student conceptions of caring, social processes that may have an effect on student conceptions of caring, and the effect that diverse clinical rotations may have on student conceptions. Initially, a content analysis of selected institutional documents was conducted and a detailed description of the institution was reported to contextualize the distinctive nature of the evangelical institution. Following this analysis, students and faculty members were observed during clinical experiences and interviewed both formally and informally during one academic year. Twenty-three nursing students enrolled in medical/surgical, maternity and community health clinical nursing courses and their respective faculty members participated in the study. The process of learning to care was, for many students, influenced by their life experiences and Christian worldview. As students developed conceptions of professional caring, they identified issues and tensions related to trust, respect, and interpersonal balance. In relationships with patients, staff nurses and faculty members, students identified conflicting messages regarding professional caring. The reality and challenge of providing care as a nurse was most meaningfully realized and negotiated in the clinical settings. The general conceptions of caring students held remained stable in each of the clinical settings, although students identified selected clinical characteristics that had an effect on the implementation of professional caring.
Degree ProgramHigher Education