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Measuring the Gap Between Students’ Expectations and Experiences in an RN-to-BSN Nursing Program

Dabney, Beverly W.; Linton, Mary; Duncan, Chelsea; Koonmen, Jamie

doi: 10.1097/01.NEP.0000000000000331

With the nursing profession requiring a more educated workforce, RN-to-BSN program enrollment has increased. Therefore, many nursing schools have expanded these programs and incorporated online learning components. The purpose of this study was to explore student expectations and perceptions of a Midwestern university’s RN-to-BSN program. A modified SERVQUAL tool was used to measure student perceptions of six quality dimensions: empathy, assurance, responsiveness, reliability, website content, and e-learning quality. Results showed that the expectation-perception gap was greatest for responsiveness (−0.506) and least for website content (−0.156). Results from this and future gap analyses will be used to develop quality improvement measures.

About the Authors The authors are faculty at the University of Michigan-Flint School of Nursing, Flint, Michigan. Beverly W. Dabney, PhD, RN, is an assistant professor in the RN-to-BSN program. Mary Linton, DNP, RN, NNP-BC, CNE, is an assistant professor in the RN-to-BSN program. Chelsea Duncan, JD, is data manager for the School of Nursing. Jamie Koonmen, MSN, RN, is associate director of the RN-to-BSN program. For more information, contact Dr. Dabney at

The authors have declared no conflict of interest.

© 2019 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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