Nursing Students And Tuckman's Theory: Building Community Using Cohort Development

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Austin, George
Cohort development; teambuilding; living learning community
thesis / dissertation description
This study explored the phenomenon of first year students who lived in a nursing living learning community and their experiences during their first year. The researcher utilized a qualitative research methodology to investigate the social and academic aspects that influenced these students as they worked to prepare to apply to the nursing program on their way to becoming nurses. Of the 68 students who lived in the community in the first two years, 12 were interviewed in a face-to-face setting. The researcher used Tuckman’s Stages of Group Development as the framework for this study, recognizing that groups go through several stages depending on the length of time that the group is together. The participants’ experiences were examined on a group and individual level, in order to fully understand their experiences in the community, including their persistence through applying to and enrolling in the nursing program. This study brought voice to the experiences of the students, helping to understand why they came together, how the community developed, and what lessons the students took away from living in this community. It was made clear during the interviews that the students chose to live in the community where they would be surrounded by students with the same goals. They also felt very strongly about academics taking a priority over social events, and believed that the community should have a second semester common course to keep the students working together throughout the duration of the first year.