Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching and Learning

First Committee Member

Steven Grubaugh

Second Committee Member

Howard R. Gordon

Third Committee Member

Greg Levitt

Fourth Committee Member

Wolf Bein

Number of Pages



Life and death represent the nursing field, and to a number of educators, helping nursing students to develop effective writing skills is equally seen as a life and death matter. A lack of proficiency in writing may literally be the death of a nursing student’s college hopes, but more importantly is the thought that a lack of proficient writing skills by nurses may mean the death of patients. Peer-reviewed studies suggest that 440,000 patients die annually in hospitals due to mistakes called adverse events (AE’s). According to research, a lack of proper communication, including written communication, represents the third leading cause of AE’s. This study showed that postsecondary nursing curricula needs to instill greater emphasis on writing proficiency.

This study combined nursing, literacy and technology to determine what needed to be done to assist postsecondary nursing educators to produce more proficient student writers. It was my vision to develop prototype software to be used in postsecondary nursing programs to teach and evaluate the writing of important health care genres produced by postsecondary nursing students. This research began with a needs assessment survey that elicited information from postsecondary nursing professors concerning what features they felt were necessary in a writing instruction and assessment app. The second portion of research featured a participatory design survey to prioritize the items that were requested as software features. The third phase of this research involved creating a prototype of the software based on data gathered from the participants.


communications; healthcare; literacy; programming; technology; vocational


Communication | Education

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




IN COPYRIGHT. For more information about this rights statement, please visit