Date of Award

Spring 5-8-2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Nursing

Committee Chair

Dr. Sheila Davis

Committee Chair Department

Nursing

Committee Member 2

Dr. Anita Boykins

Committee Member 2 Department

Nursing

Committee Member 3

Dr. Karen Lundy

Committee Member 3 Department

Nursing

Committee Member 4

Dr. Lachel Story

Committee Member 4 Department

Nursing

Committee Member 5

Dr. Gwendolyn Britton

Abstract

This dissertation examined soft skill acquisition from engagement in baccalaureate nursing programs. Baccalaureate nursing programs prepare nurses to be the future leaders of nursing practice. Soft skills include critical thinking, interpersonal communications, and ethical decision-making. To explore the acquisition of soft skills, this research study analyzed data from the National Survey of Student Engagement to explore for gains in critical thinking, ethical decision-making, and critical thinking. After gains scores were identified, then correlations were run to identify key engagement indicators. The findings of the study found gains in soft skill behaviors from freshman year to senior year of baccalaureate education. There was significant correlation with key engagement indicators, which were associated with gains in soft skills.

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