Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education

First Advisor

Terry Huffman, Ph.D

Second Advisor

Karen Buchanan, Ed.D

Third Advisor

Scot Headley, Ph.D


Integration of technology combined with the digitization of the classroom requires significant planning and financial commitment for educational institutions. A tension of sorts has developed that places additional pressure on many academic disciplines, especially applied disciplines such as nursing to teach effectively in the new digital landscape. Educators and students alike may find that the ever advancing technology and learning objectives do not always align in the ways they did in traditional classroom instruction. For an applied discipline, the field of nursing education is faced with many significant challenges to deliver high quality and relevant training in shifting learning environments. While helping nursing students navigate the complexities of professional nursing care, many schools of nursing curriculum have evolved to accommodate students and faculty in virtual classrooms including simulation, online webinars, and synchronous chats. As a result, some parts of the curriculum may be lost in the translation from traditional to online education. Professional dispositions, such as caring attitudes, may not translate as well as some other nursing practices. Yet, caring, as a professional disposition, is not only a valuable attribute, it must be demonstrated for a nurse graduate to become licensed to practice. Caring dispositions are developed in myriad ways through nursing programs. Traditionally students were mentored both in classrooms and in clinical settings. However, increasingly the important question is how are nursing faculty purposefully developing professional caring dispositions in graduates of online and hybrid nursing programs? This study explored the issue of how a sample of nursing teachers develop a caring disposition in their online teaching practice. The study included three research foci. In order to iii establish context, I examined the general perceptions of the participants on what they believe constitutes a caring disposition in their online teaching. The study then attempted to identify the strategies the participants employ to develop a caring disposition in their students. Finally, I sought to articulate the challenges that the participants identify in developing a caring disposition. Based on the findings of the study, I discuss the implications for nursing education scholarship and for practitioners involved in nursing curricular design. Notable in this regard is a presentation of what I refer to as the Caring Framework for Online Curricular Design.