Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Frank Steeves

Second Advisor

Erika Bogenschild

Third Advisor

David Buckholdt

Fourth Advisor

Albert Thompson

Fifth Advisor

Mary Schank


This study examined graduates of two routes of entry into professional nursing: the generic baccalaureate program designed to meet the needs of students entering without previous college preparation, and the Accelerated Option for Non-Nurse College Graduates Leading to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree. The purposes of this study were to determine if there were differences between the groups in (1) knowledge of essential nursing content upon graduating, (2) graduates' perceptions of their preparation and performance, or (3) supervisors appraisals of graduates performance. Participants in the study were 1985 and 1986 graduates of three universities offering both types of programs. A net sample of 361 graduates yielded an N of 145. Also participating in the study were 66 employers of graduate respondents currently employed in nursing. The Six Dimension Scale of Nursing Performance developed by Schwirian was used to obtain from graduates and from their employers, information relative to the adequacy of the graduates' preparation and their effectiveness on the job. Results showed no difference between the groups in pass/fail rates on the NCLEX-RN licensure examination. No significant differences were found between the groups in graduates' self appraisals of overall nursing performance, nor was significance reached when individual subscale comparisons were made. Employer appraisals of graduates' performance did not differ significantly for the two groups in overall comparisons. Employers did, however, rate the Accelerated Option graduate significantly higher on the Planning/Evaluation and Interpersonal Relations/Communications subscales. The results suggest that, overall, graduates of the Accelerated Option for Non-Nurse College Graduates are as well prepared and are as competent in the workplace as graduates of generic baccalaureate programs. Since entry into the workplace could be expedited for second degree students by offering an accelerated option, this type of program is postulated as one possible means of relieving the present nursing shortage. Specific areas of differences in perceptions of graduates and employers suggested areas for future research.



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