Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing Education
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College of Nursing
Tracy A Ortelli
Jayson L Dibble
Publication Date / Copyright Date
Nova Southeastern University
Dee A. Adkins. 2020. Examining Factors Associated with Failure to Fail in the Clinical Setting. Doctoral dissertation. Nova Southeastern University. Retrieved from NSUWorks, College of Nursing. (82)
Clinical nursing faculties struggle to assign failing grades to underperforming students in the clinical setting; this is known as failure to fail. Qualitative literature has revealed common factors for failure to fail; however, quantitative studies are required to determine the extent to which those factors affect the faculty’s decision-making process. The purpose of the study is to explore the relationship between face-implicating factors and the faculty’s likelihood of failing students in the clinical setting who do not meet the passing criteria. What is the relationship between face-implicating factors and the nursing faculty’s likelihood of passing students in the clinical setting who do not meet the passing criteria? The research design was guided by Rosen and Tesser’s MUM effect (1970). A quantitative, descriptive design with snowball sampling was used. The instrument was developed and validated in a previous study (Dibble, 2014) and adapted for relevance to the nursing audience. Respondents who did not commit failure to fail (F2FN) disagreed more strongly with every survey item than those who did commit failure to fail (F2FY). The differences in mean scores were compared, and 64 percent of those differences were statistically significant (p < 0.05). Respondents who did not commit failure to fail were less affected by the face-implicating factors than those who committed failure to fail. Therefore, the null hypothesis is rejected; a direct connection was found between face-implicating factors and the faculty’s likelihood of passing students in the clinical setting who do not meet the passing criteria.
Clinical evaluation, Critical conversations, Failure to fail, Moral distress, MUM effect, Nursing student evaluation
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