The experience of nursing students in an online doctoral program in nursing: a phenomenological study

Margaret Jordan Halter, Catherine Kleiner, Rosanna Formanek Hess
International Journal of Nursing Studies 2006, 43 (1): 99-105
The increased sophistication of technology has led to greater use of distance learning, providing graduate nursing students with increased access to such programs, while more easily maintaining employment. Little information is available regarding the experience for those students enrolled on these programs. This information would be of value to both those who are considering online courses, and to those who are charged with developing and teaching these courses. A phenomenological approach was used in order to examine the experience of five students enrolled in an online doctoral program in nursing in the United States. Verbatim transcripts were analyzed for themes from which three main ones emerged as the essence of the experience: considering the fit, liking the fit, and making it fit. Recommendations are provided for future research pertaining to distance education, particularly in the form of graduate outcomes.

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