Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Nursing and Allied Health Professions

First Advisor

Susan G. Poorman, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Theresa M. Gropelli, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Michele A. Gerwick, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Melissa L. Mastorovich, MSN


Each year, thousands of nursing students take standardized exit examinations. Those students who do not meet a specified benchmark score may be required to complete remediation before graduation or before taking the licensure examination. Students who are considered to be at-risk for failing the NCLEX-RN® exam, based on standardized exit exam scores, are sometimes required to participate in courses specifically designed to assist them to be successful on the licensure exam. No previous studies have involved students' perceptions of the experience of being required to complete a remediation course. The focus of this Heideggerian hermeneutic study was on nursing students' perceptions and the meaning of the experience of completing required remediation. Rich descriptions of experiences, gained by listening to and interpreting at-risk students' individual stories, have provided information about the impact of being required to complete remediation. Barriers that deter students from receiving the maximum benefits of the courses were uncovered. Conversely, insight can be gained from the stories of students who embraced the experience. This provides educators with information about broaching the subject of required remediation with at-risk students and highlights ways to enhance their experiences.