“Nursing as a way of thinking”—heideggerian hermeneutical analysis of the lived experience of the returning RN

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Abstract

Although RNs are returning for baccalaureate education in large numbers, little research has been conducted on their lived experience to identify what they deem significant about their schooling experiences. For this phenomenological study, returning RNs from three baccalaureate nursing programs (N = 15) participated in extended, nonstructured, audio-recorded interviews. Resulting verbatim transcripts were analyzed hermeneutically by a team of researchers using Heideggerian phenomenology as the philosophical background to identify common meanings, relational themes across texts, and finally, constitutive patterns expressing relationships between themes. The major finding of the research was the constitutive pattern “Nursing as a Way of Thinking.”

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