Date of Award

1994

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Higher Education Administration PhD

First Advisor

Edward A. Streeter

Second Advisor

David S. Penner

Third Advisor

David A. Faehner

Abstract

Problem. Universities and colleges are increasingly interested in marketing strategies in order to improve enrollment. Nursing programs have likewise become more conscious of the need to be more market-oriented. Knowing the factors that influence consumer choices in higher education can enhance marketing strategies. The purpose of this qualitative study was to identify the factors related to marketing nursing graduate education that affect consumer choices in a particular program. Of special interest was the nursing student population in the Andrews University Graduate Nursing Program.

Method. From the literature and from focus groups of a sample of the student population, data were obtained. The researcher conducted all focus group data gathering. The interview schedule was sent to three of the outreach sites for completion as a paper-and-pencil test as suggested in the literature for the quantitative value that is unobtainable by strictly qualitative analysis. The sample was voluntarily self-selected for all groups. Out of the 110 master's students, 66 were actually involved in data collection for this study.

Results. The study indicated that out of the marketing factors of product, place, price, and promotion, product and place are the most important. Accessibility, scheduling convenience, quality of the program, and quality of the faculty, the image, the Christian focus, and the emphasis on research were the most frequently reported factors that influence student choices in Andrews University master's of nursing program.

Conclusions. Knowledge provided by this research indicates that certain factors are identifiable that influence registered nurses in a choice of a particular program for graduate study. The analysis of the data obtained is applicable in developing a strategic marketing plan for the Department of Nursing at Andrews University. If the 10 highest-ranking factors consistently occur in repeated research, market planning for the master's students in nursing can be executed more profitably in every program. The pragmatic value of this study is that the information can be applied immediately in the formulation of a strategic marketing plan. The tentative SWOT analysis and the marketing plan can be enhanced and actually used within the current academic year.

Subject Area

Nursing--Study and teaching (Graduate)--United States.

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