Date Approved


Date Posted


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department or School

Teacher Education

Committee Member

D. M. Raymond III, PhD, Chair

Committee Member

Laurie C. Blondy, PhD

Committee Member

Jennifer Kellman-Fritz, PhD

Committee Member

Robert Carpenter, PhD

Committee Member

Barbara K. Scheffer, EdD


Students who are preparing to become registered nurses are more likely to attend community colleges due to the unequal distribution of financial resources to educational systems that have evolved from the impact of globalization. The purpose of this descriptive cross-sectional study was to increase the understanding of mentoring as it relates to the perceived ability to persist among nontraditional students enrolled in associate degree nursing programs at community colleges. This investigation presented a discussion of how student involvement in a mentoring relationship and the domains of mentoring differed by student background characteristics. Additionally, the domains of mentoring and student involvement in a mentoring relationship were explored with the students’ perceived ability to persist.

Study participants were administered an online survey, which yielded N = 283. Descriptive and inferential statistics were performed using SPSS Version 21 statistical software. The sample characteristics resembled those compiled by the National League of Nursing (2012).

Males met with a mentor more frequently per grading period than females. Differences were found between males and females on the measures for psychological/emotional support and academic support. Part-time students and students who were successful in nursing courses met more frequently with a mentor than full-time students and those who failed a nursing course. A significant relationship was found between psychological/emotional support and the existence of a role model. Most often, the person whom the study participants identified as their mentor was a family member.

Researchers in nursing education have the opportunity to build a consistent definition of mentoring and a conceptual framework for traditional and nontraditional students enrolled in two- and four-year institutions through the continued exploration of mentoring and how mentoring relates to the perceived ability to persist.

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