Reconnecting with Your Passion: An Action Research Study Exploring Humanities and Professional Nursing

Open Access
Snyder, Melissa J
Graduate Program:
Adult Education
Doctor of Education
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
February 20, 2012
Committee Members:
  • Edward W Taylor, Dissertation Advisor/Co-Advisor
  • Edward W Taylor, Committee Chair/Co-Chair
  • Elizabeth Jean Tisdell, Committee Member
  • Cheryl A Dellasega, Committee Member
  • William Dryden Milheim, Committee Member
  • Julie Kearney, Special Member
  • Gary Kuhne, Committee Member
  • Nursing
  • Adult Education
  • Humantities
  • Action Research
  • Transformative Learning
  • Professional Development
  • Career Satisfaction
ABSTRACT The purpose of this action research study was two-fold. The first purpose was to examine the process of how nurses engaged in a professional development program that drew upon reading and creative writing related to their lives and work as nurses. Secondly, this study examined the nurses’ perspectives on how their involvement in the process and professional development program related to changes in their personal and professional lives. Transformative learning theory provided the theoretical framework for the study which considered the views of nurses regarding the use of reading and writing strategies. The action research study involved eleven registered nurses from a variety of practice specialties and levels of career satisfaction who were enrolled in an eight session professional development program. The findings of this study were based upon the data collected from pre and post participation semi structured interviews, field notes, journal entries and creative writing pieces completed throughout the program. The findings of the study were focused on three key areas including the nurses’ views of reading, writing and group work, the most useful reading and writing strategies used to assist nurses in reconnecting with their professional values and ideals, and the influences of participation in this action research study on the nurses’ career satisfaction and well-being. The findings suggest that specific humanities based strategies can effectively assist nurses in identifying their core professional values and ideals while also helping to improve career satisfaction and well-being. Additionally, the study provides insight into the process of action research as a methodology while also supporting the role of transformative learning theory in the professional development of nurses.