Date of Award

December 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Karen H Morin

Committee Members

Nadya Fouad, Julia Snethen, Michele Pollfus, Margaret Noodin


Diversity Equality Inclusion, Native American, Nursing, nursing shortage, Perception, Social Cognitive Career Theory



The nursing profession has made concerted efforts to increase diversity in the profession. Given the population of Native Americans is increasing, increasing the number of Native American nurses is important. Having a sufficient number of Native American nurses could increase the quality of care the Native American population receives as evidence indicates communication and interactions in enhanced when communicating with a nurse of same race. Having a larger number of Native American registered nurses (RN)s would “foster better interaction and communication” (Institute of Medicine, 2010b, p. 128)/Purpose: The purpose of this study was to learn what variable(s) had the most significant impact on Native American middle school student’s perception of nursing as a career choice. Using the social cognitive career theory (SCCT) model of choice as a guide, the relationships among the variables person input (age, gender, knowledge of nursing, and opinions of nursing), self-efficacy, outcome expectations, and proximal contextual affordances (parental support and tribal/ community support) of middle school students about choosing nursing as a career choice were examined. Sample: A convenience sample (N= 10) of Native American middle school students (grades 7 & 8) from Wisconsin was obtained. Methodology: Data was collected via electronic survey. Analysis of this cross-sectional, correlational, predictive study was completed using descriptive and exploratory statistics and thematic analysis. Results: Inspection of results revealed four strong positive correlations between family support and tribal/ community support (r (8) = .74, p < .014), family support and opinion of nursing (r (8) = .77, p < .014), outcome expectations and opinion of nursing (r (8) = .70, p < .023), and knowledge of nursing and tribal/ community support (r (8) = .81, p < .001. Two positive moderate correlations were obtained: age and choice of nursing as a career (r (8) = .67, p < .05) and family support and outcome expectation (r (8) = .65, p < .05). However, when adjusting for multiple comparisons (p <0.005), only knowledge of nursing and tribal/community support remained significant (r =.81, p =.001). Conclusion: Based on the limited data, the following tentative conclusions are offered: there is a positive relationship between tribal /community support and knowledge of nursing, male participants were less likely to select nursing a career choice, and age may play a role in selected nursing as a career choice, as younger participants selected it.

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