Date of Award

January 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching & Learning

First Advisor

Myrna Olson


The purpose of this study was to better understand professional socialization in nurse anesthesia educational programs through an exploration of the attitudes and beliefs of faculty members and recent graduates. Participants for this cross-sectional, quasi-experimental online study included a convenience sample of 178 nurse anesthesia faculty members and 399 recent graduates of nurse anesthesia educational programs in the United States. Measures in this study explored the importance, recent graduate preparation, and influence on professional socialization outcomes (e.g., professional development, scholarly activity/critical inquiry, professional ethics, and professional and social responsibility). The effect of cohort size and instructional delivery method were also examined. Independent samples t-tests, correlations, and repeated-measures ANOVA (within subjects) were utilized to analyze the data.

Both faculty members and recent graduates indicated they were overall satisfied with professional socialization practices used in nurse anesthesia educational programs. The independent samples t-tests revealed several significant findings. Faculty members rated the importance for all outcomes higher than recent graduates. Both faculty members and recent graduates from programs with smaller cohorts rated the importance for the outcome of scholarly activity/critical inquiry highly. Recent graduates who utilized a blended/hybrid or online instructional delivery method in their program rated the importance and their preparation higher for the outcome of professional ethics. Significant positive correlations were found for all outcomes between recent graduate preparation and frequency of participation. Although most reported frequencies of participation were low, frequency of participation was higher for the outcome of professional ethics. Repeated-measures ANOVA showed faculty members to be most influential for recent graduates, followed by clinical instructors.

Nurse anesthesia educational programs, regardless of instructional delivery method, should ensure that intentional methods and techniques to promote the socialization process are woven throughout the curricula. Furthermore, each program should assess what other influential factors or groups may affect the socialization process. Future research should be focused on collecting actual methods and techniques that are currently utilized so that current best practices for professional socialization can be determined. Methods and techniques should be evaluated for differences based on program size or utilization of distance education.