Theses Doctoral

Exploring Nursing Students’ Knowledge and Attitudes Regarding Academic Integrity and Willingness to Report Peer Violations

Stevenson, Shannon Morris

Academic integrity, while important for all students, is especially so for those enrolled in nursing programs. Nurses are entrusted by the public to care for those in need from birth through death. A nursing student who graduates through dishonest means jeopardizes the safety of patients in their care. Nursing faculty need to understand the scope of academic integrity violations and develop meaningful, targeted interventions to show students the harm their actions could cause. The purpose of this dissertation is to explore undergraduate nursing students’ knowledge and perceptions of academic integrity and to specifically look at their willingness to report peer violations.

This dissertation study was a collaborative effort among three doctoral students. Using a research team-modified version of McCabe’s Academic Integrity Survey as well as a research team-created Knowledge Assessment, 442 nursing students were surveyed. Results confirm a hesitation to report peers for violations of academic integrity. Students’ ability to neutralize their behaviors as harmless, their desire to remain loyal to their peers, and age act as positive predictive variables for willingness to report peer violations. Additionally, participants’ perceptions of the severity of various offenses and their perceptions of their faculty’s support for academic integrity policies are positively correlated with willingness to report peer violations. Program improvement strategies, such as implementing an honor code, were supported by participants and may help foster a culture of academic integrity that promotes peer reporting. Lastly, a targeted intervention designed for nursing students to promote academic integrity and peer reporting is explored.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Health and Behavior Studies
Thesis Advisors
Kaur, Tresa
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
July 16, 2021