Comparison of Two Modes of Teaching Delivery in Graduate Nursing Education

Sunday, 8 November 2015: 11:40 AM

Ronda D. Mintz-Binder, DNP, RN, CNE
College of Nursing and Health Innovation, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX, USA

A longitudinal research study was conducted from 2013-2014 in which students enrolled in two different master’s degree nursing programs were assessed using two scales as well as demographic and programmatic questions at two data points, after first course and one year later. Graduate students who were enrolled in an online Academic Partnership (A.P.) version of the program in a condensed format (courses 5 or 10 week long with one faculty and one academic coach per course) were compared to those enrolled in the traditional 15 week full semester format.  Perceived Stress Survey (PSS) and Sense of Belonging (SOB) were the two quantitative repeated measure scales. At data point 1, 58 students (37 A.P. and 21 Traditional) completed the study. At data point 2, 40 (25 A.P. and 15 Traditional) of the same students completed the second survey.  Within these two groups, 67.6% of A.P. and 71.4% of Traditional repeated the surveys. Within survey 2, an inverse statistically significant relationship was reached between PSS and SOB for the full group (= -.459, p=.003). Statistical significance was also reached between PSS and SOB in the Traditional group (= -.657, p=.008) but not so with the A.P. group (=-.339, p=.097). Within the Traditional group, changes in PSS and SOB scores between survey one and survey two were both statistically significant (PSS : =.533, p=.041; SOB: =.763, p=.001).Within the AP group, changes in SOB were statistically significant (=.490, p=.013). Within the Traditional model of course delivery, sense of belonging appears to modulate stress and over the course of the year, these students demonstrated scores that were fairly consistent. Students who are successful in the AP program appear to modulate their stress and use belongingness through online opportunities in a positive and productive way.