Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Education




Faubert, Brenton


This interpretive qualitative case study of nursing educators’ facilitation of bridging students’ professional socialization in support of their transition from RPN to BScN in the context of one Canadian Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) to Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing (BScN) bridging program explored: (1) how nursing educators understand bridging students’ professional socialization; (2) what leadership practices they use to facilitate professional socialization; (3) how bridging students understand these leadership practices in support of their professional socialization; and, (4) what programmatic support nursing clinical educators receive to support bridging students. Transition, professional socialization, and leadership practice constitute this study’s conceptual framework. Kouzes and Posner’s exemplary leadership practices framework was used to interpret nursing educators’ leadership practices. Data were collected from interviews with nursing clinical educators and program coordinators, from focus groups with bridging students and graduates, and from one program document. Bridging students experience a unique professional socialization trajectory, not only impacted by interactions with nursing educators but by broader intra-professional, organizational, regulatory, and bridging program structural factors. Nursing educators across educational areas facilitate professional socialization using teaching and leadership practices in tandem; the use of a leadership theory with an instructional component is suggested. Nursing educators should consider the professional socialization trajectory in curriculum planning and to guide their leadership and teaching practices, and extend their influence on professional socialization outside the spaces where they typically interact with students. Nursing clinical educators are under-supported in their work with bridging students; improved programmatic support is needed.