Integration into professional nursing by graduates of an innovative entry-level MSN program

Karon Cook, Heather Becker*, Marlene Weitzel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Recently, nursing programs that admit nonnurse college graduates to graduate study in nursing have emerged around the country. The University of Texas at Austin has such a program called the Alternate Entry Master of Science in Nursing (AEMSN) program. Using a grounded theory approach, 13 telephone interviews were conducted with alumni of the AEMSN program to examine the socialization of these nontraditional graduates into the profession of nursing. Participants reported some anxiety as they approached graduation. They were particularly aware of a disconnection between their academic credentials and their limited professional nursing experience. To manage others' and their own expectations of them, the participants chose various strategies, such as using positive self-talk and seeking a manager who understood and favored the AEMSN program. Eventually the graduates found places where they felt comfortable and where they could hone their skills. As they began to function in roles that they believed were consistent with master's level nursing, the AEMSN graduates began to embrace the identity of master's-prepared nurses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-175
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Professional Nursing
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996


  • Socialization of nontraditional nursing students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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