Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Kathleen M. Rayman

Committee Members

Gary Kukulka, Masoud Ghaffari, Patricia Hayes


A plethora of stressors are known to be related to the process of transition to professional nursing practice as the neophyte registered nurse (RN) transitions from student to professional nurse. Although not new, accelerated second-degree baccalaureate nursing (ASDBN) programs have opened in record numbers in recent years in the wake of the current nursing shortage. Little is known about the experience of professional practice for accelerated second-degree baccalaureate graduate nurses (ASDBGNs). The stressful graduate nurse transition, current nursing shortage, and lack of an empirical base for ASDBN programs illustrate the significance of the research problem. This modified grounded theory study generated a substantive Theory of Overcoming: ASDBGN Transition to Professional Nursing Practice. Constant comparative method of joint data collection, analysis, theoretical sampling, and memoing was used. Data were collected through semistructured interviews using open-ended questions that were conducted over the telephone or in person. The identified basic social process (BSP), overcoming, encompasses 5 stages: reality check, goaling, getting started, coming out on top, and mastering. Study findings provide a beginning evidence-base for nursing education, policy, and clinical practice related to this growing student population.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.