The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

Higher Education Administration: Ed.D.


Educational Administration and Higher Education


School of Education

First Advisor

Steven McCullar

Second Advisor

Michael Mills

Third Advisor

Mumbi Mwangi

Fourth Advisor

Sue Field

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

Nursing Directors Turnover Job Satisfaction Feminist


Turnover in academic leadership of nursing programs in our community colleges is a national problem. This qualitative study explored and documented the stories of six female practical nursing and associate degree nursing program directors and deans in the MN State college system, who voluntarily left their positions. This study looked to amplify their voices to help inform a solution to address the turnover problem. The feminist theoretical framework with the Job Characteristics Theory model were used to understand how job characteristics influenced job outcomes for female nursing directors and deans, and how their lived-in experiences effected work motivation, performance outcomes, and turnover. Results of this study indicated the critical role of relationships with supervisors and faculty, the role of gender, the heavy workload, and the lack of authority had on the experiences of nursing directors and deans. Other subparts that emerged included the impact of faculty shortages, participants’ experiences in being prepared for the nursing director or dean role, contracts and compensation, and the desire by all participants to improve the position to minimize turnover. Recommendations to address this problem were solicited from the participants as holders of the truth, having lived through the experience, and therefore in the best position to provide insights. Recommendations included professional development and mentorship opportunities, standardized job description and employment contract, centralizing work, administrative support personnel, supporting self-care and recognition of the work by nursing directors and deans, and creating opportunities for senior leadership outreach.



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