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The history of the Associate Degree Nursing Program at Portland Community College

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  • This study describes the historical development of the Associate Degree Nursing Program at Portland Community College by women faculty leaders in a male-dominated organization. In-depth interviews of eleven participants were transcribed and analyzed. The participants gave a very rich description of this nursing programthus describing its culture. Six themes were identified: the use of power, governance, informal networks, work ethic, psychological climate, and external influences. A review of the literature affirmed that these topics are conceptually related. Thus, three constructs were reviewed: the use of power, organizational culture, and associate degree nursing education. What this means in terms of a historical study is for one to look at the whole. The influence of prior events upon contemporary social events is still a dynamic issue. Insight into how or why decisions have been made in the organization's past, can illumine contemporary decision making. Past decision making can be viewed both within the historical context and through the contemporary lenses of the use of power in the workplace, organizational culture, and associate degree education. Being aware of the cultural context, both from the broader social perspective and from the microcosm of the organization or the immediate work group, allows insights through these more refined lenses.
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