Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Juan Battle

Committee Members

Samuels Williams

Lynder Olender

Subject Categories



Internationally educated nurses, immigrant nurses, advanced degrees, Master’s degree, postgraduate nursing education, continuing professional development, United States.


The educational background of nurses impacts their delivery of evidence-based, safe, quality, and patient-centered care. Obtaining a master’s degree can lead to patient benefits such as decreased lengths of hospital stay, reduced mortalities, reduced hospitalization costs, reduction in total patient falls, and nurse benefits such as increased job satisfaction and critical thinking skills. Internationally educated nurses (IENs) make up five percent of the 3.9 million nursing workforce, according to the National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses (NSSRN) data collected by the Bureau of Health Workforce. IENs obtain fewer master’s degrees than U.S-educated nurses, as the NSSRN data shows that 40% of IENs obtained a master’s degree, compared to 57% of US-educated nurses. This study seeks to increase an understanding of the factors that influence IENs obtaining a master’s degree in nursing. Guided by Deci and Ryan’s Self-Determination Theory, I conducted secondary analyses (including logistic regression modelling) of the NSSRN dataset to examine the intrinsic, extrinsic, and key demographic factors that may influence IENs’ obtaining master’s degrees. Further, to see how these variables operate differently for US-educated versus IENs, the data was analyzed separately and compared for these two distinct populations.

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