Pamela Fifer

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education

First Advisor

Dane C. Joseph, PhD

Second Advisor

Karen Buchanan, EdD

Third Advisor

Scot Headley, PhD


The aim of this study was to explore ADN students’ perceptions of instructor caring, including the relationships between age, employment, and race/ethnicity, utilizing the Nursing Students’ Perception of Instructor Caring (NSPIC) instrument. Understanding some of the unique needs and what behaviors demonstrate caring to students can help nurse educators develop and utilize more of these caring behaviors in various interactions with students. Standard multiple regression, multiple correlations, and one open-ended question were used to analyze the data. Age, employment status, and race were not statistically significant predictors of students’ perceptions of instructor caring for any of the scales. Each of the five scales had moderate to high levels of internal consistency. Inter-item correlations demonstrated most items were moderately to highly correlated within each scale. Common themes regarding behaviors that students wanted changed or improved included feedback, communication, availability, support, respect, and understanding. Implications for nurse educators and administrators include increasing the awareness of students’ perceptions of instructor caring behaviors and incorporation of quality teaching practices that reflect these behaviors. This can help build the instructor-student relationship, help students develop their caring efficacy, and potentially help students succeed in nursing school and in the profession.