The process of becoming : a grounded theory study of Hispanic nursing student success
Goetz, Carla R.
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The purpose of this research was to identify the barriers faced by successful Hispanic nursing students in completing their nursing studies and the strategies that were used to manage or overcome those barriers. Grounded theory methods were used to generate a substantive theory of Hispanic nursing student success. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 13 Hispanic nursing students and Hispanic registered nurses in practice. The interviews revealed that while each person had his or her own compelling reason for entering a nursing program, most did so with little planning and preparation for the realities of nursing school and little awareness of the potential problems that might be encountered. Numerous barriers were identified by the respondents. They included (1) unprepared for the difficulty, (2) time management, (3) finances, (4) family beliefs and cultural influences, (5) inadequate academic preparation, (6) nursing theory and practice, (7) support, (8), prejudices, and (9) the educational institution. As the interviews continued, categories were identified using the constant comparative method and a theory for Hispanic nursing student success began to emerge. Respondents based their success in completing their registered nursing program on a process of growth and change that they experienced throughout their nursing education. The key categories were identified as (1) identifying barriers, (2) gaining confidence, (3) finding voice, (4) gathering support, and (5) making compromises. The core category and unifying theme was that of becoming. There was an increasing awareness by participants that they were growing and changing in a way they had not anticipated, but in doing so, they were further increasing their chances for success. They gained an awareness of the wider implications of their success, not only for themselves and for their family, but for the Hispanic community and for the nursing profession. This study adds to the limited body of knowledge on Hispanic nursing student success. The findings may provide a foundation for the further development of a theory of success that will guide the development of effective retention strategies for Hispanic nursing students.