Jerry HarveyFollow




School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Cynthia Goodrich


Academic Success, Nursing Assistant, Nursing Student, Part Time Work


Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Nursing | Other Education


The purpose of this phenomenological study was to develop an understanding of how working as a nursing assistant impacts the ability of nursing students to meet the high demands of school during their junior year of a Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing (BSN) pre-licensure program. Benner’s Novice to Expert Theory, Situated Learning Theory, and the Johari Window Communication Model each suggested that immersing oneself in the culture of nursing would have positive outcomes for the student working as a nursing assistant. A qualitative phenomenological design was used to explore the following research questions: (a) What are the unique experiences of junior nursing students who have worked or are working as nursing assistants while in school? (b) How do nursing students who work as nursing assistants perceive that their work impacts their schoolwork? and (c) What is the mean academic achievement on junior level core nursing courses of students who work as nursing assistants in comparison to other nursing students in the same courses who worked in non-nursing jobs? Individual interviews, a focus group, and mean nursing grade comparisons were used to explore these questions among a purposeful sample of seven senior level nursing students in a baccalaureate nursing program in central Virginia who had worked as nursing assistants. Findings suggested that nursing faculty should encourage students to work as nursing assistants as long as they work less than 18 hours per week and focus on learning from nursing personnel while developing their skills as a nursing assistant.