Document Type



Doctor of Education (EdD)


Higher Education

First Advisor's Name

Linda Blanton

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Co-Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Ann Nevin

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Co-Chair

Third Advisor's Name

Kathleen Blais

Fourth Advisor's Name

Janice Sandiford

Date of Defense



The purpose of this study was to identify the factors that motivate nursing faculty to use service learning. The study was based on the theory of planned behavior (TPB), which implies that the target behavior of intention to use service learning in higher education is influenced by the predictor variables of behavior beliefs (attitude), normative beliefs (peer influence), and control beliefs (confidence and resources). External variables were also considered (years of teaching experience, tenure status, and the type of curriculum).

Group interviews and a pilot test were conducted to create the instrument for the study, and Cronbach alpha were calculated for survey item reliability. The participants were full time undergraduate nursing faculty members (n=-160) in the Southeastern United States who taught in universities with accredited nurse education programs. Demographic data as well as scores on scaled survey responses were used to evaluate the intention of nursing faculty to use service learning in their classes.

Pearson product moment correlation coefficient and path analysis were applied to the data. The correlation findings indicated that there were statistically significant relationships between behavior beliefs, normative beliefs, and control beliefs and nursing faculty intention to use service learning. The path analysis also indicated that behavior beliefs and normative beliefs were significant, while control beliefs were not a strong influence on intention to use service learning. Normative beliefs showed the strongest direct influence. The use of a community based curriculum also had a positive influence on intention, and faculty with tenure status were more likely to have positive behavior beliefs (attitude) towards service learning. Finally, as teaching experience increased, positive attitudes towards the intention to use service learning decreased. Seventy-nine percent of the variation in the intention to use service learning was explained by the theory of planned behavior, the type of curriculum, teaching experience, and tenure status. These results will assist nursing administration and faculty to design strategies to facilitate the implementation of service learning pedagogy, as well as a community based curriculum which will help meet the 21st century goals set forth from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.





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