First Advisor

Pamella Stoeckel

Second Advisor

Patricia Cullen


Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

81 pages


Associate Degree (AD) nurses are challenged to plan careers that allow them to progress to their full potential. Many nurses find it difficult to advance due to not having the Bachelor of Science (BSN) degree. Research has surfaced showing better patient outcomes by BSN prepared nurses resulting in many facilities requiring nursing to be baccalaureate prepared before being hired. Further research is showing that a minimal amount of AD nurses are continuing on in their formal education. With little financial support to pursue further education and no compensation once the degree is obtained those that choose not to return to school have few opportunities for advancement. But what is not known is what AD nurses perceive as their options for career progression. In this a key informant qualitative study, 10 AD nurses were given an informational session and their feedback received. Their information was analyzed and themes were developed regarding their perception of clinical advancement. The three theme that emerged were: Value Me as an Associate Prepared Nurse, BSN Not Sufficiently Compensated, and Uncertainty About Promotion Options.

Date of Award

Spring 2018

Location (Creation)

Colorado (state); Denver (county); Denver (inhabited place)

Rights Statement

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