Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Barbara DiCiccio-Bloom

Committee Members

William Ebenstein

Theresa Valiga

Donna Nickitas

Subject Categories



Academic failure has been described as endemic in nursing education. Although, associate degree nursing programs graduate the largest number of nurses each year, the on-time graduation rate is 59%. Every semester students fail nursing courses and are required to successfully repeat the course before they can progress in the nursing program. Students who re-take a failed course are often called "repeaters." This qualitative Grounded Theory research explored the process of overcoming failure and becoming a successful student repeater. This emergent mode grounded theory study applied qualitative analysis techniques to prospectively verify and refine this emergent concept by delineating dimensions embedded in overcoming failure. Through the constant comparative method of data analysis, selective and theoretical coding, the Grounded Theory Reconciling Life Balance emerged.

Reconciling Life Balance represents the basic social-psychological process of nursing students who failed a course, repeated the course successfully and continued to complete their nursing program. Two substantive categories emerged from this data: 1) acknowledging, which included the concepts of the unexpected and failure and 2) becoming a successful repeater, which included the concepts of managing emotions, asking for help and adjusting their work-life balance. By focusing on human interaction and emotional connections, Reconciling Life Balance has the potential to transform current approaches to nursing education and facilitate student success.

Included in

Nursing Commons