Date of Award/Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. in Advanced Practice Nursing

First Supervisor

Christine Nelson-Tuttle

Second Supervisor

Colleen Donegan


Purpose: To gain insight on nontraditional undergraduate nursing students’ perception of potential stressors and how they approach health promoting behaviors.

Background & Significance: The average undergraduate nursing student has evolved from women in their early 20’s to a far more diverse, older and educated population including a greater percentage of minorities, single parents and men. The current literature on student stressors and health promoting behaviors is extensive; however there is disproportionally less data on nontraditional student populations and their health promotion practices. When considering the changing student demographic, new approaches to education and student support measures and need to be better understood.

Methods: A qualitative approach was utilized to better understand the personal experiences of non-traditional undergraduate nursing students at one baccalaureate nursing program through focus groups and one-on-one interviews.

Results: The results of this study define personal wellness as ones’ ability to balance physical and emotional demands. This study also highlighted the importance of interpersonal relationships in the students’ success.

Conclusion: The findings of this study will help nurse educators understand barriers to achieving academic success and engaging in health promoting behaviors to cultivate healthy and effective nurses in today’s changing nursing workforce.