Theses Doctoral

Exploring Nursing Students’ Knowledge and Attitudes Regarding Academic Integrity: Perceptions of Severity

Willey, Amanda J.

Academic integrity is an important part of higher education. This is especially true in nursing education programs. Nurses must be able to think critically, have sound clinical judgement, and make autonomous decisions. If there are concerns of academic integrity violations during nursing programs, these skills become questionable when the student enters the nursing profession. Nursing students believe that the severity of academic integrity violations occur along a continuum, which impacts their acceptance of these violations.

Severity may also impact a student’s willingness to report a peer for a violation of academic integrity. This cross-sectional, correlational study assessed baccalaureate nursing students’ perceptions on various aspects of academic integrity violations using McCabe’s Academic Integrity Survey-Modified for Nursing Students (MAIS-MNS) and a knowledge assessment. Correlations, t tests, and regression analysis were used to identify relationships among variables and potential predictive factors between classroom and clinical violations, willingness to report peers, and perceived program supports. This study also considered the theory of neutralization as a factor in student acceptance of academic integrity violations.

Results suggest that the perceived severity of cheating in the classroom can predict the perceived perception of severity in the clinical setting. Results also showed that students who neutralize their actions, do not perceive those actions as severe. Finally, the perception of severity does predict a student’s willingness to report peer violations of academic integrity. Creating a culture of academic integrity has the potential to reduce academic integrity violations. Creating this culture, partially through education on academic integrity and violations of academic integrity, is needed to enhance nursing education programs and ensure the continued excellence expected of nurses.


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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