Degree Date

Spring 4-2013

Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Academic Discipline

Community College Leadership


Male nurses are but a small percentage of the total nurse population in the United States, and most certainly have potential to increase in numbers if the profession appeared more attractive as a career option for men. The purpose of this research was to discover the decision factors used by males that led them to enroll in Associate Degree nursing programs in Illinois community colleges. To set the background and context, the study explored the history of community colleges and that of nursing. Included was nursing as a profession, nursing in the United States, the country’s impending nursing shortage and the role of men in nursing.

Using a qualitative case study method of design, the study adapted a multi-theoretical framework encompassing gender theory (GT) and career developmental theory (CDT). These theories were further broken down by discussing, in particular, Holland’s Theory (HT) of Personality and Vocational Choice and Krumboltz’s Social Learning Theory (KSLT) under CDT. Nine first year male ADN students from three separate Illinois community colleges were individually interviewed. Findings discovered that the first year male students experienced a distinctive decision making process with eight emerging themes revealing the males’ decision making about their ADN enrollment process.

As a result of the study’s findings, MURSE: Resurreccion’s Male Nursing Student Decision Making Pyramid model was developed to elaborate the steps of how males make decisions about their ADN enrollment. An understanding of these factors can provide opportunities for community colleges, and perhaps universities, to improve recruitment and retention of males in nursing programs. A result would be increased numbers of males enrolling in Associate as well as Baccalaureate nursing programs. Such knowledge held by colleges may help to address a manpower solution to the impending worldwide nursing shortage.