Using Focus Groups in Evaluation of an Accelerated BSN Program

Thursday, 16 July 2009: 4:25 PM

Paulina Van, PhD, RN
school of Nursing, Samuel Merritt College, Oakland, CA
Abby M. Heydman, PhD, RN
School of Nursing, Samuel Merritt College, CA

Learning Objective 1: 1. Develop a protocol for the use of Focus Groups as one method of data collection in program evaluation reseach.

Learning Objective 2: 2. Describe the research outcomes of a program evaluation study of an accelerated BSN program on four campuses.

Purpose: In 2005, Samuel Merritt College began the implementation of an accelerated BSN program on four campuses.  In 2008, the program produced over 200 licensed nurses, a figure which will increase to nearly 300 in 2009.  Although outcomes appeared to be positive in terms of licensure rates, graduation rates, and employment, concern about student satisfaction stimulated a comprehensive program evaluation.

Methods: Data for the study included entrance exam scores, entering GPA's and grades, a comprehensive Graduate and Alumni Surveys, Employer Surveys, as well as extensive focus groups with current students, alumni, faculty, and employers.

Results: This paper will provide participants with information about how to develop a protocol for use of Focus Groups in program evaluation.

Conclusion: It will also summarize findings of this extensive study of a large accelerated BSN program.