Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Science


Baccalaureate re-entry students, BSN, military corpsman, nursing, professional development


An increasing number of registered nurses and other health care providers are entering upper division academic nursing programs to obtain the baccalaureate nursing degree. A path analytic model was developed to examine the interrelationships of multiple roles and focal role commitments, previous education, work experience, and role conflicts perceived by reentry adult students, and the influence of professional support in the subsequent transition to the professional role. Group differences between Registered Nurses (RNs) and military corpsmen were also investigated for the variables of importance. A sample of 206 RNs and 37 U.S. Navy corpsmen (from a current population of 96) enrolled in generic baccalaureate nursing programs throughout the country responded to a self-report instrument protocol comprised of the Grendell Intrarole Conflict Inventory, the Goldberger Professional Support Scale, the Pieta Role Conceptions Scale, and a demographic information sheet. Data were analyzed by multiple regression procedures to determine validity of the model. Predictor variables of multiple roles, work role, professional support, and role conflict explained 4% of the variance in professional role transition, 4% in role conflict, and 3% in professional support. The strongest predictor for professional role conception discrepancy was role conflict. The strongest predictor for service role conception discrepancy was the work role. Multiple role occupancy was the strongest predictor of role conflict. Multiple role occupancy and work role had a salient effect on professional support. Due to the relatively small sample of military students, a comparison group, matched by age and gender, was selected from the larger group of RNs. Analysis of variance techniques were used for testing the hypotheses of group differences. Although the groups did not differ on professional role transition, differences were found in levels of education and current work hours, thus indicating that the RN group had more years of education and continued to work more hours while attending classes. Role conflict scores for the RN group were also higher. Results of the current study suggested a revised model for future testing. The similarities found among the two groups may provide the basis for identifying and refining study variables.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access



Included in

Nursing Commons