Deterrents to participation in continuing education programs among university-based nurse faculty

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Higher Education


Roger Hiemstra


Adult education, nursing faculty

Subject Categories

Adult and Continuing Education Administration | Educational Administration and Supervision


The purpose of this study was to gather data concerning the reasons for nonparticipation in organized or other-directed continuing professional education programs designed to enhance nurse faculty's knowledge of and skill in the mediated role of educator and nurse. The study's theoretical framework was based upon Cross' (1981) Characteristics of Adult Learners and Chain-of-Response models. The Characteristics of Adult Learners model was designed to clarify the adult learning process. The Chain-of-Response model examines the interdependency of specific points along the path toward an educational decision.

Continuing learning activities and barriers to participation among nurse faculty employed full time in university-based nursing educational programs in New York were measured by the self-report Deterrents to Participation Scale (Scanlan, 1982). This consisted of a nine item Continuing Learning Activity Survey (Part I), a 40 item Deterrents to Participation Scale (Part II), and an inventory of respondent sociodemographic and clinical practice variables (Part III). Prior research concerning deterrents to participation in continuing education revealed differences in the strength of nonparticipation variables among populations, thus offering evidence of the complexity and multidimensionality of the construct.

The study design was a mailed questionnaire sent to 520 nurse faculty. Two mailed follow-ups resulted in 347 (67.6%) usable responses. Factor analysis of Part II of the survey resulted in a five factor solution explaining 45.68% of scale variance. The five factors were labeled as follows: (1) Alternative Choices, (2) Program Constraints, (3) Cost/Benefit Constraints, (4) Time Constraints, and (5) Family Constraints. Hierarchical regression analyses were used to examine possible relationships between the demographic, situational and clinical practice variables and the five factors. Overall, none of these variables were able to explain a meaningful amount of scale variance.

Finally, using hierarchical regression analyses, information concerning the usefulness of deterrent factors alone or in combination with sociodemographic and clinical practice variables for explaining participation in continuing learning activities was sought. None of these variables were able to explain a meaningful percent of variance. Study results provide support for the reliability and validity of Part II of Scanlan's (1982) Deterrents to Participation Scale and for the complexity and multidimensionality of the deterrence construct. Additional findings support the self-directedness of educational decision making among faculty particularly in regard to continuing education specific to the faculty role.

Recommendations for future research include further refinement of the data


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