Hispanic/Latina student nurse perceptions of institutional factors influencing retention and graduation from a baccalaureate nursing program
This qualitative study investigated the experiences and perceptions of nine Hispanic/Latina nursing senior students and graduates of a Bachelor of Science nursing (BSN) program regarding the influence of institutional factors upon their retention and graduation. Institutional factors were broadly defined and included programs, policies, curriculum, and the social encounters that occurred while engaging in these factors. The data were collected using individual interviews, a written questionnaire, and a focus group that included an interactive design that allowed the participants to analyze the importance of each factor upon her retention and graduation. The key findings or themes that emerged as influencing factors were: (1) the participants’ commitment, intellectual ability, and work- ethic, (2) adequate financial assistance, (3) ongoing family emotional support, (4) establishing adequate support from other Hispanics to maintain a bicultural orientation, and (5) experiencing authentic caring relationships from institutional agents and peers. This study is significant in that the shortage of nurses to deliver healthcare in the U.S. is reaching a crisis and is compounded by: the growing ethnic diversity of the U.S. population and the unicultural aging nursing workforce. Hispanics are the fastest growing minority group in the U.S. and the most underrepresented in the U.S. nursing workforce. In that there are no studies to date that have examined the factors that contribute to the retention and graduation of Hispanic/Latinas from BSN programs, this study adds to the nursing and education fund of knowledge, specifically providing evidence of the importance of the cultural considerations and interpersonal relationships in the development and administration of institutional programs, policies and curriculum in BSN programs.