Facing A Problem of Great Concern: Nursing Faculty’s Lived Experience of Encounters with Chemically Dependent Nursing Students

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This article focuses on the qualitative component of a study of nursing faculty attitudes toward student nurses perceived as having chemical dependency problems. A multi-cluster random sampling procedure was used to survey 874 participants; 324 participants responded to the survey, resulting in a response rate of 37%. Narrative analysis was used to analyze descriptions of encounters with chemically dependent student nurses as well as faculty perceptions of how religious/spiritual beliefs influenced their attitudes toward chemically dependent individuals. Four major themes emerged regarding the influence of religion/spirituality on attitudes toward individuals who may be chemically dependent; seven themes emerged regarding faculty encounters with chemically dependent nursing students. Study findings imply chemical dependency is a problem in academic circles that is frequently encountered by nursing faculty and that individuals with the potential to contribute productively to the profession of nursing are frequently lost to our profession for reasons directly or indirectly related to chemical dependency.

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