ONCAT Research

Post-Secondary Student Mobility:
Expanded Collaborative Evaluation of Student Performance, Experience, and Outcomes in RPN to BScN Bridging Education

Project Partners:

Durham College
George Brown College
Georgian College
Nipissing University
Trent University
University of Ontario Institute of Technology

Overview of Research Project:

In 2012, research was conducted at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), Durham College (DC), and Georgian College (GC) to evaluate student behaviours and performance in the Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) to Nursing Degree (BScN) program. This research provided valuable insight into understanding student experiences, and how to create supportive learning environments within the bridging education program.

The knowledge and understanding gained from this research project led to a second research study funded by the Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer (ONCAT). This expanded research project involves further evaluation of the DC/UOIT/GC bridging program, in addition to the inclusion of several other bridging education programs in Ontario (George Brown College, Nipissing University, and Trent University). This expanded study will provide insight into student experience, performance, and outcomes associated with different program designs and delivery models (i.e. on-campus, blended learning, and on-line distance education).

Throughout this study, insight will be gained into the student population enrolled in the bridging programs, including past academic history, and performance within and throughout the program. Research also aims to understand the barriers and facilitators that students experience in RPN-to-BScN bridging education. Research with graduates and employers will provide insight into outcomes beyond graduation, the transition to professional practice, and the experience of employers working with students who have completed bridging education programs.

At this time, there is a lack of comprehensive evaluation data available on bridging education programs within Ontario. As such, the knowledge generated from this expanded research study will have many benefits in understanding the impact of bridging programs on the lives of students and graduates. Dissemination of data from this research project may impact future development and re-structuring of RPN-to-BScN educational programs in order to better support the learning needs of students, and enhance student experience.

Collaborative Degree Completion Programs