Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy


Education, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

E. Paulette Isaac-Savage, EdD.


Henschke, John

Leander, Sheila

Wilmarth, Paul


More international and foreign-born people are choosing to live in America than ever before, many permanently. During the past decade, both education and healthcare have been acutely affected by this change in the national population. To address the need to provide effective healthcare to all ages of a diverse population as well as provide quality educational experiences for international and foreign-born students who enroll in American nursing programs, professional nursing has consistently revised and updated healthcare delivery practices and nursing program curricula. Research consistently addresses the provision of healthcare delivery to a diverse population, but in comparison little has been written about the international and foreign-born student who is in the United States studying and preparing to become a professional nurse. The aim of this study was to report and analyze the experiences of international and foreign-born nursing students who were currently enrolled in an accelerated, second degree program (ABSN) in the Midwest. The findings support prior studies relating to experiences of international and foreign-born students in multiple specialties in the United States, although none in accelerated baccalaureate nursing programs. Davis & Nichols (2001), Sanner, Wilson, & Samson (2002) and Chow (2011) attest to the determination, dedication, and the coping skills of the participants to adapt to and appropriately respond in culturally diverse situations in all venues as did this study. Further, the findings point to the successful development of cultural competence during the one-year ABSN program. The program resulted in positive personal change, also described as transformation for the study participants. An important additional finding was that as the participants mastered the intricacies of professional nursing, they became seriously intent on pursuing advanced degrees in various nursing specialties. This qualitative study will contribute to multiple fields of study as it revealed the individualism of the participants, the meaning they attributed to their year-long higher education experiences and their intention for service in our nation’s communities and around the world as professional nurses.

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