Dr. Nancy Elkins of the Marshall University College of Health Professions School of Nursing recently presented her research titled “A Phenomenological Study: Lived Experiences of Students Who Do Not Succeed in Four Year Baccalaureate Nursing Programs” at the 18th annual Association for the Advancement of Educational Research International (AAERI) conference in Fort Myers, Florida, last month.

Elkins, an associate professor of nursing in the college, said she was honored to be able to present her own research and listen to some of the most distinguished experts and leaders in the field of educational research.

“As a result of my research study, I developed the Nursing 200 course titled, ‘Introduction to Professional Nursing’ to help prepare students for successfully completing a B.S.N. nursing program” Elkins said. “The goal of the development of this pre-nursing course would help with retention of the students admitted into the B.S.N. program and successful completion of the program.

“This course is required for freshman nursing students and sophomore nursing students who are admitted in their sophomore year. The outcomes from completing this course include being able to increase students’ self-efficacy, increase critical thinking and test-taking skills and utilizing the resources available such as the Writing Center and the MU Library research journals, as well as practice using APA guidelines for writing papers.”

Elkins said the AAERI conference provided professional learning opportunities to exchange ideas and networking opportunities with educational leaders from around the world, including those who specialize in nursing, education, engineering, science and geophysics.

“Analyzing students’ needs can help faculty and staff identify student concerns and issues that can affect the student achieving success in their educational pursuits, whether they are academic or psychosocial concerns,” Elkins said. “Many students are dealing with factors that can affect their performance in the clinical and classroom setting, such as psychological stress, test-taking anxiety, juggling family obligations, work responsibilities, health issues and economic instability. The nursing shortage is expected to continue to grow and [it is] projected that there will be a need for an additional 1.1 million RNs in the United States by the year 2022, according to the American Nurses Association.”

Elkins serves as course coordinator for the “Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing” course and is responsible for classroom lecture and clinical experiences at the psychiatric hospitals for students in the undergraduate B.S.N. program. She has worked as a registered nurse for 19 years and has experience teaching nursing students for the past 14 years.

Originally from Megan Archer for Marshall University Communications