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

Michael Mills

Second Advisor

Steven McCullar

Third Advisor

Erin Heath

Fourth Advisor

Darcy Nelson

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

grassroots; collaboration; nursing education


The purpose of this case study is to tell the story of the Minnesota Alliance for Nursing Education (MANE), a grassroots innovation in nursing education. Specifically, I interviewed fourteen nurse educators who had experience on at least one of the four work teams. Using Yin’s (2014) work as a guideline, I asked the participants why they committed to becoming involved in this collaborative curriculum and how they worked to create and implement the curriculum between community colleges and a university partner. I used Kezar and Lester’s (2011) grassroots leadership model as a theoretical framework to guide my research. From this framework, I drew conclusions about the characteristics and motivation of the participants, as well as the strategies and tactics that were used to create and implement the curriculum simultaneously at all MANE partner schools.

The results of the interviews revealed a passionate group of educators who were committed to increasing the number of baccalaureate prepared nurses in Minnesota. In the planning stage, they developed strategies and agreed to tactics that were used to form the curriculum and the processes to deliver the curriculum. I also discovered the highs and the lows of being a part of the process. Participants were candid about these ups and downs: errors made and support and benefits received. Recommendations for higher education grassroots inovations, as well as multi-campus collaboration are made for those wishing to embark on such endeavors. Areas of future research are suggested.


I would like to thank my fourteen colleagues who agreed to share their stories with me. Thank you for your insights, your frankness, and your time. I trust that I have accurately retold the story of MANE through your comments. I would also like to thank my dissertation committee: Dr. Michael Mills, for his on-going coaching along the journey and his endless hours of editing; Dr. Stephen McCullar, for his practical help in performing qualitative research; Dr. Erin Heath and Dr. Darcy Nelson, for their feedback and support through this whole process.

I would also like to thank the students who graduated in Spring 2017 from our MANE program. Your tenacity helped us to see the vision of MANE come to fruition: to increase the number of baccalaureate prepared nurses in the state of Minnesota. Kudos to you!



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.