Date of Graduation

1983

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

There were two purposes of this study. The primary purpose was to determine if a significant difference in learning styles exists among registered nurse students, basic nursing students, and nurse educators in a baccalaureate nursing program. The secondary purpose was to determine the effects of the following variables on learning style: basic educational preparation in nursing, practice setting, and years of practice in nursing. Kolb's Learning Style Inventory and a demographic data questionnaire were administered to all registered nurse students at the beginning of their first course upon entering West Virginia University. The same tools were administered in a classroom setting to all basic students at the completion of their junior year, and to all undergraduate nursing faculty at the same school. Following collection of the data, LSI scores were computed. Statistical analysis of the data was then completed, using Chi Square, Analysis of Variance, and Duncan's New Multiple Range Test. The first hypothesis, that there would be no significant difference among learning styles of registered nurse students, basic nursing students, and nurse educators in a baccalaureate nursing program, was retained. While no significant difference was found, it is of note that the prominent learning style was Diverger, followed by Accommodator, Converger, and a relatively small number in the Assimilator category. The second hypothesis, that there would be no significant difference in the active/reflective (AE-RO) learning dimension among registered nurse students, basic nursing students, and nurse educators in a baccalaureate program, was retained. The mean scores of subjects tended toward reflective observation rather than active experimentation. The third hypothesis, that there would be no significant difference in the abstract/concrete (AC-CE) learning dimension among registered nurse students, basic nursing students, and nurse educators in a baccalaureate program, was rejected. Nurse educators were found to be significantly more abstract in their thought processes than either student group; no significant difference was found between RN and basic students. Further analysis of the data demonstrated no significant differences in learning style among nurses with different educational backgrounds, or among nurses in various practice settings. Years of practice in nursing did not appear to effect integration of learning style.

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