Navigating the Faculty–Student Relationship: Interacting With Nursing Students With Mental Health Issues
BACKGROUND: There is an increase in students enrolled in higher education diagnosed with mental illness or experiencing symptoms suggestive of mental health issues (MHI). This has a significant impact on the faculty–student relationship. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to identify the basic social psychological process that occurs when nursing faculty interact with students with MHI. DESIGN: Grounded theory methodology was implemented to identify the basic social psychological process that occurs when faculty encounter students with MHI. Thirteen nursing faculty were interviewed. Data were analyzed using line by line coding and constant comparative analysis. RESULTS: The resulting substantive theory, navigating the faculty–student relationship in the context of student MHI, is an iterative four-phase process: noticing, responding, experiencing, and reflecting. CONCLUSION: This theory provides a framework for understanding how nursing faculty recognize and address student MHI. The theory can be used to establish interventional strategies and best practice guidelines.