Friday, July 13, 2007
This presentation is part of : Collaboration in Career Transitions: Moving In, Moving Through, and Moving Out of an Accelerated Second Career Program
Collaboration in Career Transitions: Moving In to an Accelerated Second Career Program
Marilyn D. Klakovich, DNSc, RN, CNAA, BC and Phyllis Esslinger, RN, MS. School of Nursing, Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, CA, USA

Background: Despite the growth in second career nursing programs, limited literature and evidence-based strategies exist on the recruitment, admission, and transitions of second career nursing students.

Purpose: This presentation describes the SCAN program’s student recruitment and admission process and outcomes, as well as collaborative strategies to facilitate the Moving In phase to both the pre-licensure and graduate components.

Conceptual Framework: The strategies were based on Schlossberg’s Transition Theory.

Methods: In the initial Moving In phase, professional expectations were set through recruitment strategies and an intensive three-day orientation. A dedicated nurse educator/recruiter guides the potential student through the admission process. Important collaboration occurs with agencies where potential student contacts are made. Also, the recruitment process involves inter-institutional collaboration with the Office of University Admissions. In Moving In to the graduate program, an orientation session is conducted, articulating the nuances between prelicensure and graduate nursing education and setting the expectation that the newly RN-licensed and working SCAN students will successfully obtain their MSN degree alongside the traditional graduate nursing students.

Outcomes: Fifty-eight students are enrolled in our first three cohorts, representing 64% ethnic diversity and 85% retention rate. Formative evaluation reveals unanticipated effects of the integration of SCAN students with traditional MSN students. These effects include competitiveness with traditional MSN students, difficulty adapting to graduate teaching styles, and the paradox of being expected to perform at the graduate level while working as a novice nurse. Focus groups at the end of the graduate component will further illuminate these effects.

Conclusions: Recruitment outcomes suggest that a nurse educator/recruiter is effective for student guidance and counseling, enabling recruitment and retention of highly diverse second career students. Since the SCAN program prepares students for advance practice specialties, readiness for advanced practice roles with limited RN experience needs further evaluation.