The evolution of an associate degree program in nursing as enhanced by federal funding

Mary Elizabeth Eiche, Marquette University


This dissertation is a historical research into the associate degree nursing educational program as it began in the state of Wisconsin with the first such program founded at Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC). The purpose was to trace the evolution of this associate degree program at MATC as enhanced by federal funding and, thereby, enable past experience to assist in decision making by educational administrators of these programs. The National League for Nursing's Criteria and Guidelines for the Evaluation of Associate Degree Programs in Nursing were used as a framework for tracing the development of the program studied through three major developmental stages. These stages were the pioneer period (1962 to 1972), the boom period (1972-1982), and the period of stock taking and standard setting (1976-1990). The significance of federal funding obtained at various periods in the development of this program in nursing was explored. Funds obtained through state venues allowed for the development of the auto-tutorial laboratories. Auto-tutorial methods accommodated the large numbers of students admitted to the nursing program during the following boom period. Capitation funding (literally, "head count") made available during the boom period allowed for more faculty in-service in this new form of nursing education, enhancement of nursing laboratories, development of an educational mobility program for practical nurses into this associate degree nursing program and research in a new method of teaching sciences. The final period of stock taking and standard setting was enhanced by federal funding for the development of programs to assist the disadvantaged and minority student (ICAN) and to teach new concepts of nursing care in response to the "graying of America", through the Geriatric Nurse Training Grant. Conclusions reached as a result of this historical study suggest that more research into the development of associate degree nursing programs along with the efficacy of federal funding in support of such programs is needed. Further study of the role of the associate degree nurse in the changing health care delivery system is recommended.

Recommended Citation

Eiche, Mary Elizabeth, "The evolution of an associate degree program in nursing as enhanced by federal funding" (1994). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI9505908.