Theses Doctoral

Exploring Nursing Students' Knowledge and Attitudes Towards Academic Integrity: Student Perceptions of Faculty Support

Flannigan, Kathryn

Maintaining high levels of academic integrity in nursing programs is critical to student success and the transition to professional practice. Integrity encompasses the values of trustworthiness and honesty. Nursing faculty need to determine if they are providing students with the resources and communication needed to maintain a culture of integrity. It is important for faculty to determine if students tend to rationalize or neutralize the psychological effects of dishonest behaviors. Finally, it is important to determine methods to eliminate violations of academic integrity in nursing education.

The overall design of the dissertation provides three distinct articles designed to stand alone as potential articles for publication. This dissertation is a part of a larger collaborative effort with two other Teachers College Doctoral students. The methods and procedures are the same for all principal investigators. Chapters I through III and Chapter V are all uniquely my own. Chapter IV represents the collaborative effort presented in this dissertation. In a cross-sectional, quantitative study design, McCabe’s Academic Integrity Survey- Modified for Nursing Students (MAIS-MNS), a Knowledge Assessment of Academic Integrity, and a Demographics Questionnaire were completed by 442 pre-licensure nursing students. In the individual portion of this study, the relationships between perceived faculty support of academic integrity policies; perceived faculty response to cheating; neutralization; and age are examined to determine if relationships exist between the variables. Additionally, in the collaborative chapter, the variables of severity and perceived faculty support of academic integrity policies were compared to the willingness to report peer violations and program-wide strategies to improve a culture of integrity. Data were analyzed using IBM SPSS Statistics version 27 (IBM Inc., Armonk, NY, USA).

Results indicated students who have higher perceived faculty support of academic integrity policies are less likely to rationalize academically dishonest behaviors. It was also found that younger students were more likely to rationalize dishonest behaviors. It is also important to consider from which source students are receiving academic integrity information. Course syllabi, first-year orientation, program counselors, faculty, deans and other administrators, and other students were all found to be significant predictors related to student perception of faculty support of academic integrity policies. Students who have higher perceptions of severity scores and higher perceptions of faculty support of academic integrity policies scores were found to be more willing to report peers. Additionally, having program-wide interventions, such as an honor code, could help strengthen the overall culture of integrity. Frequent communication and consistent academic integrity policies are vital for faculty to maintain throughout nursing programs Faculty should remain vigilant to changing trends in how students violate academic integrity violations and provide consistent messages.


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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
October 27, 2021