Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

Nursing Student Satisfaction with an Associate Nursing Program

Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

Nursing Student Satisfaction with an Associate Nursing Program

Article excerpt

Nursing education has engaged in numerous quality-outcome and program-evaluation activities designed to demonstrate that their educational offerings benchmark with regional and national educational standards and state boards of nursing requirements (Brown & Marshall, 2008; Story et ah, 2010). Accreditation by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC; since 2013, the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing [ ACEN]) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is an essential indicator that the nursing program offers high quality outcomes that meet standards for higher education in a specific discipline (Brown & Marshall, 2008). Measures of quality outcomes proposed by the ACEN and CCNE include student satisfaction, graduation rates, attrition, passing rate on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN®), employment rate after graduation, and employer and alumni perceptions.

Research indicates there is evidence linking student satisfaction evaluations with increased student engagement and retention in higher education (Noel-Levitz, 20052006). The inclusion of student satisfaction measures in a comprehensive program evaluation may provide insights into the total educational experience for students and an understanding of student expectations for program development and enhancement (Appleton-Knapp & Krentler, 2006; Brown & Marshall, 2008). To our knowledge, no national studies have comprehensively investigated student satisfaction with the associate of science in nursing (ASN) or associate degree in nursing (ADN) programs in the United States.

The aim of this study was to provide evidence of ASN or ADN program satisfaction among nursing students using a standardized measurement in order to identify areas needed for improvement in general. Thus, the purpose of this study was to conduct a national survey to describe the level of ASN or ADN student satisfaction with the nursing program and to identify which areas of curriculum, faculty, social interaction, and environment relate to overall nursing student satisfaction.

BACKGROUND

Student Satisfaction with the Nursing Program

In higher education, student satisfaction has been viewed as an indicator of program success, and students with higher satisfaction levels progress well in their intellectual and social development (Brown & Marshall, 2008). The use of standardized questionnaires to measure student satisfaction with a nursing program as a whole has allowed the identification of program features and facilities that are necessary to enhance program success and where change is needed (Richardson, 2005).

Although accrediting bodies have proposed that student satisfaction be viewed as one of the program outcomes (CCNE, 2008; NLNAC, 2008), nursing student satisfaction has not been sufficiently studied in the United States. Identifying which factors affect student satisfaction and expectations is valuable to educators seeking to improve the quality of program outcomes (AppletonKnapp & Krentler, 2006).

A variety of factors influencing student satisfaction have been identified in the literature, such as student educational experiences, student age, instructor teaching style, and the quality of the instruction. Two studies conducted by Ansari (2002a, 2002b) examined the effects of academic background and demographics on student satisfaction at a university. The findings suggested that participants with a diploma in nursing had higher satisfaction levels than the participants with a baccalaureate degree in nursing (BSN). In addition, the older participants had higher satisfaction levels than the traditional students who were less than 21 years old.

Student evaluations of curriculum design and teaching effectiveness have been viewed as a major source of information for faculty development and for promoting positive changes in learning outcomes (Hessler & Humphreys, 2008; Salamonson, Halcomb, Andrew, Peters, & Jackson, 2010). …

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