Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Edward Kujawa Jr., PhD, Director; Patricia A. Roth, EdD; Susan M. Zgliczynski, PhD


academic advising, advisors, education, evaluation, Leadership studies, perception, RN/BSN distance educational nursing program


Over the past decade, RN/BSN programs have gained popularity across the nation with an emphasis upon structural flexibility and/or adult student learning principles. Research has shown a positive association between advisement and decreased attrition rates for this unique student body. The purpose of this research was to determine from the perception of students enrolled in a RN/BSN educational program, the importance of advisement in relation to three elements: functions, outcomes and advisor style. It was also the purpose to determine if these three elements had either been provided, achieved or employed, respectively, by their advisors. An evaluative design was used to study student perspectives. Data were collected using two Likert-type questionnaires which were piloted to establish reliability and validity. Statistical analysis included percent and median measures of central tendency and Kruskal-Wallis one-way ANOVA. The sample technique of multistage sampling was used with the primary unit chosen by simple random selection consisting of 7 of the 9 geographical areas of the nursing program under study. Three specific courses within each of the randomly chosen areas comprised the secondary unit resulting in a sample of 323 students. The sample population was found to be homogenous in relation to age, educational background and stage of progress in the nursing program (p >.05). Analysis revealed that all aspects of an advisor's style were perceived by students to have been employed by their advisors and all were considered to be important. None of the advisement outcomes were perceived to have been achieved nor were they considered as being important. It was significant that some of the functions and outcomes provided/achieved were not perceived as being important by students from higher educational backgrounds (p >.05). It was the conclusion of this study that RN/BSN students rated the three elements of academic advisement in accord with characteristics of adult learners as purported within constructs of adult learning theory. These findings are, therefore, significant to the practice of nursing that RN/BSN programs provide advisement in a manner conducive with adult learner student needs and values as a viable means to decrease potential student attrition rates.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access