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Document Type

Dissertation - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Sandra Bunkers


Feeling respected, fostering respect, rural nurse leaders, van Kaam


Feeling respected is a universal experience important to a person’s health and quality of life. The theoretical framework guiding this study is transcendental phenomenology. The purpose of this research is to describe the experience of feeling respected for rural nurse leaders, and to contribute to the very limited body of nursing knowledge regarding the phenomenon of feeling respected. The van Kaam research method as modified by Clark Moustakas (1994) was used to answer the research question: What is the experience of feeling respected for rural nurse leaders? Ten rural nurse leader participants who have experienced feeling respected were recruited for this study. The process of Epoche, bracketing of the research question, horizonalization, clustering, and thematizing was used to construct textural descriptions, structural descriptions, a composite textual-structural description and a composite description of the essence of the experience of feeling respected for rural nurse leaders. The themes that surfaced in the research are: feeling connected to community with teamwork; feeling recognized for knowledge, competence, and making a difference; feeling supported; feeling trusted; feeling valued; and feeling respected in light of potential for disrespect. The nurse leaders also acknowledged the role they serve in creating the conditions for fostering respect in the work environment. The nurse leaders foster respect by demonstrating trustworthiness, showing support, and honoring human autonomy as they facilitate and create the conditions for the experience of feeling respected to surface. The nurse leaders’ role in creating the conditions for fostering respect was an unexpected and new finding in the research. Finally, a new a conceptual model for the experience of feeling respected for rural nurse leaders was constructed from this written description of the experience of feeling respected. The conceptual model incorporates the themes that surfaced related to the rural nurse leaders’ experience of feeling respected and the themes that surfaced from their experience of fostering respect.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Rural nurses -- Attitudes
Nurse administrators -- Attitudes
Respect for person
Quality of life


Includes bibliographical references (pages 191-208)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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