Date of Award

Spring 5-2016

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis



First Advisor

Karen Rich

Advisor Department



In this paper, the lived experience of married nursing students and their stress during nursing school was explored. This project aimed to answer the questions: 1) what is the lived experience of married nursing student during one semester of their nursing program and 2) what is the students’ combined experience of nursing school stress and marital stress or satisfaction? The research design was qualitative with a phenomenological approach. The participants of the study consisted of 7 volunteer, married nursing students attending the BSN program at the University of Southern Mississippi-Gulf Park campus during the fall 2015 semester. The participants were asked to write journal accounts about their experiences with nursing school stress combined with marital stress and/or marital satisfaction. Data were analyzed for themes separately by both the researcher and thesis chair. Inter-coder reliability was achieved for all themes identified with only slight variations in wording. Duplication of themes were reduced to four by the researcher. The four themes identified are: 1) Familial social role changes, 2) Imbalances between school and family, 3) Emotional stress, and 4) Spousal support. The recurring themes identified indicate that the additional stressors from nursing school negatively impact the martial stress of married nursing students.