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

Michele L. Crytzer, D.Ed.

Third Advisor

Joyce A. Shanty, Ph.D.


Learning disabilities are the most prevalent disability reported in higher education, including nursing education. Yet, despite cognitive abilities for educational success, students with learning disabilities have a reportedly lower graduation rate than their non-disabled peers. Factors related to this phenomenon remain vastly unknown. With the current nursing shortage and predicted need for future nurses to meet societal demand, the importance of gaining understanding is imperative. Nursing faculty experiences while teaching students with learning disabilities may provide a better understanding of this phenomenon. This Heideggerian hermeneutic study explored the stories of 14 pre-licensure nursing faculty experiences of teaching students with learning disabilities. The purpose of this interpretive phenomenological study was to gain understanding of these experiences and what they meant to nursing faculty. Rich descriptions of these experiences illuminated that nursing faculty (a) have difficulty finding time to help; (b) have many questions related to pedagogical, ethical and safety issues; and, (c) want to know more about learning disabilities.