Program evaluation of baccalaureate nursing programs : at one and five years after graduation
Administration and faculty are now being held accountable for the learning process in educational programs at the institutional level. The purpose of this study was to describe and compare baccalaureate graduates' perceptions of Ball State University School of Nursing's education program and employers' perceptions of those graduates. This study also examined graduates demographic characteristics such as, personal information, education, professional practice, and professional activities. Stufflebeam's (1966) CIPP Model for evaluation was utilized as a theoretical framework. A convenience sample of all graduates of 19881990 one year after graduation and 1986-1987 graduates five years after graduation and employers willing to participate completed the questionnaires and/or demographic sheet. The perceptions of graduates towards Ball State University School of Nursing's educational programs and employers'perceptions towards the graduates were examined in descriptive design.A list of names was received from Ball State University's Alumni Office. Questionnaires were coded and mailed with a cover letter and a stamped, self-addressed envelope.All participants were informed of rights as human subjects and the confidentiality of this study. A cover letter informed subjects of procedures, risks, and benefits. Ball State University's Institutional Review Board granted permission to conduct the study.The findings of this study of one and five year postgraduates lead to the general conclusion that Ball State University's baccalaureate nursing program has been successful. These findings are consistent with those found in the literature. In general, the graduates expressed satisfaction with all aspects of the baccalaureate nursing education.The findings from the instrument to measure employers' perceptions (one and five years after graduation) were positive. Approximately three fourths of employers indicated the graduates functioned at above expected levels in regards to communication, nursing, leadership skills, andprofessionalism. The graduates had a successful transition into practice, and employers were satisfied with the graduates' performances.