Learning From Culturally Diverse Nursing Students With Physical Disabilities

Saturday, 28 October 2017: 2:35 PM

Geraldine C. Fike, DNP
College of Natural Sciences, Nursing Department, California State University, San Bernardino, San Bernardino, CA, USA
Dawn I. Blue, DNP
College of Natural Sciences, Nursing, California State University, San Bernardino, San Bernardino, CA, USA

The aim of the study was to gather information on the experience, outlook, perception, and recognition of nursing students with physical disabilities through their preparation, entrance, and progress/journey through their nursing school involvement in a baccalaureate program. Little data has been gathered from the perspective of students who have been identified as disabled and are attending a baccalaureate nursing program. The perspectives shared from culturally diverse students may assist and further educate nursing faculty as to the exceptional challenges nursing students face in the baccalaureate program. An exploratory, qualitative design was used with dissemination of a 10-item survey. The 10-item survey was formatted as forced-choice, free-answer, and open-ended questions and was disseminated in English using two different modes of dissemination (face-to-face and email). Clarification was intended to be provided, upon request. Conversation took place due to request of the participants. All qualitative data analyses were performed using NVivo 11 qualitative software (QRS International Pty Ltd., 2012). The small number of participants in the study was indicative of merely the few physically disabled students which were identified and admitted into the baccalaureate nursing program at two local universities in Southern California. The participant's responses were extremely valuable and represented adequate numbers for this one research project. The findings showed that all participants openly shared their experiences and requested conversation to take place amongst the participants to discuss their means of obtaining expertise, share their experience with those alike, create a resource pool, and educate faculty on the unique perspective of the set of skills the disabled student can complete although not textbook taught. The need for continued research is needed to implement system-wide changes with consideration of the mounting body of evidence linking nursing practice to fundamental improvements in the safety and quality of care. It is important to educate faculty who lack the experience or understanding of a student that has the potential to be successful. The goal to change nurses view of the disabled learners as students and not as patients, is essential. The quality of care will be improved by adding this underserved and vulnerable group to the nursing profession.