Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Educational Administration


Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Foundations

Major Professor

Perry, Andre

Second Advisor

Wilson, Billie Ann

Third Advisor

Cropley, Lorelei

Fourth Advisor

Del Favero, Marietta


An associate degree in nursing is obtained in the community college setting and is designed to be completed in 2 years of full-time study. Approximately 70% of practicing registered nurses (RNs) are educated at the associate degree or diploma (vocational training) level with only 15% moving on to achieve a degree past the associate level. The purpose of this phenomenological research is to study the lived experiences of registered nurses who obtained an associate degree in nursing and, while working in a health care setting, returned to school to attain a baccalaureate degree in nursing (BSN). Data gathered during individual interviews will provide documentation of the benefits of attaining a BSN as well as identifying barriers that associate degree RNs must overcome to pursue a BSN education.


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