This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Examination of Academic Self-Regulation Variances in Nursing Students




Schutt, Michelle

Type of Degree



Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


Multiple workforce demands in healthcare have placed a tremendous amount of pressure on academic nurse educators to increase the number of professional nursing graduates to provide nursing care both in both acute and non-acute healthcare settings. Increased enrollment in nursing programs throughout the United States is occurring; however, due to high attrition rates, these increases do not automatically result in more nursing graduates. The educational focus in nursing education has recently shifted from a student-driven approach wherein learner-centered learning has replaced teacher-centered teaching in an effort to promote student critical thinking ability, autonomy, and professional identity (Billings & Halstead, 2005). Nursing faculty must have an understanding of the theoretical constructs of self-directed learning, academic self-regulation, and learning motivation in order to support student progression toward autonomous learning. The unique needs of individual students as well as possible differences in nursing student groups must be considered when developing educational strategies and methods to promote and enhance student integration of content value and progression toward intrinsic motivation. The purpose of this research was to determine the existence of statistically significant differences in academic self-regulation behaviors (autonomous vs. controlled) two distinct groups of nursing students: (a) traditional baccalaureate nursing students, and (b) non-traditional baccalaureate nursing students (licensed nurses returning to nursing school to obtain a baccalaureate degree). In addition, significant differences in the demographic characteristics between the same two groups of baccalaureate nursing students was explored. Analysis revealed that non-traditional baccalaureate nursing students have statistically significantly higher autonomous regulation subscale (ARS) scores than traditional baccalaureate students. Female participants reported higher ARS scores than male participants and participants in a single-parent or two-parent household also reported higher ARS scores. Post-hoc analysis further revealed a statistically significant result for the number of dependent children. Additional findings of interests are explored.