BSN Graduates' Perceptions of Liberal Education
MetadataShow full item record
(41st Biennial Convention) The purpose of the presentation is to inform the audience of the findings of this qualitative research study that explored the lived -experience of recent (BSN) graduates in a curriculum grounded in a liberal education. Recommendations for strengthening liberal and professional nursing learning connections impacting leadership capacity will be discussed. The phenomenological psychological philosophy of Paul Colaizzi (1978) provided the theoretical foundation for this study and guidance in the research methods. Dialogal interviews were utilized to collect qualitative data for the study. The interviews of twelve recent BSN graduates enrolled in a (ASN to BSN) program were audiotaped face to face, transcribed and interpreted for meaning. The three themes that emerged were "unclear of the meaning of liberal education", "usefulness of liberal education", and "descriptions of learning"�. Findings from the study revealed that even though participants were unclear of the meaning of liberal education, they accepted that this was an important part of the curriculum that they "needed to get through"�.�Overall, participants explained that the learning from discrete liberal education courses was valued but did not comment that their nursing faculty connected this liberal learning with professional nursing. Furthermore, for the most part, the usefulness of the liberal education courses was perceived "after the fact"� and generally valued for their perceived relevance to nursing. In conclusion, some recent graduate nurses were able to articulate the values of liberal education to professional nursing education after they understood the meaning of the term. The study contributes to the nursing and higher education pedagogical literature and suggests curricular recommendations for strengthening liberal and professional learning connections and student leadership development.