Date of Award

Summer 7-27-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Cheryl-Ann Resha, Ed.D

Second Advisor

Daryle Brown, Ed.D

Third Advisor

Antoinette Towle, Ed.D


The United States is in the midst of a nursing faculty shortage and schools of nursing are no exception. Adjunct clinical faculty can help meet the need for more faculty and alleviate the faculty gap in clinical education. While the use of adjunct clinical faculty is an option, it is not without its challenges. The purpose of this descriptive, non-experimental quantitative study was to examine the orientation learning needs of adjunct clinical faculty as they transition from expert clinicians to novice educators. Benner’s Novice to Expert Theory (1982) and Knowles’ Adult Learning Theory (1980) were the theoretical frameworks that were used to guide the research and discussion of the findings. Using the Needs Assessment Survey for Topic Inclusion in a Guide to Orientation along with gathering demographic information, 106 adjunct clinical faculty rated the level of importance of topics to be included in an orientation. Items of most important were identified from these three categories: Orientation of Clinical Component of Course, Orientation of Clinical Site, and Orientation of Nursing Course(s). Additionally, several items that participants felt were Very Important were either omitted or not sufficiently discussed in their orientation. The majority of participants identified that satisfaction from teaching was the primary reason why they assumed the new role as adjunct clinical faculty compared to all other reasons combined, although no significance differences in their learning needs emerged. Adjunct clinical faculty who had a formal orientation were also compared to those who did not have a formal orientation. Nurses who had a formal orientation rated the importance of the nursing course items, on average, significantly higher than those adjunct clinical faculty who did not have a formal orientation. The information obtained from this study adds to the body of literature for nursing practice and highlights additional areas for further research.