Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Resource Education and Workforce Development

Document Type



Registered nurses (RNs)working in acute care hospitals that provide services 24 hours a day 7 days a week with a variety of schedules are a challenge for Nurse Managers to communicate rapidly changing, important educational messages in a timely and efficient manner. These RNs can be considered dispersed, or distanced, employees from their Nurse Managers. Moore’s (1972) Theory of Transactional Distance was the theoretical framework to explore the effects of disseminating educational messages via email from Nurse Managers to frontline RNs working in an acute care hospital that provides services 24 hours a day 7 days a week. A researcher-developed instrument, the Multivariable Transactional Distance Survey, was used to measure transactional distance, transactional distance constructs of learner autonomy, dialogue and structure, learner experience with technology, overall RN satisfaction with the program and selected professional and personal demographics. Findings indicate that frontline RNs are ready to use email to receive educational messages. They reported confidence in using email and accessibility to a computer. They were overall satisfied with the educational messages delivered electronically. There were no significant differences found in age, gender or type of unit in which the RN worked. Results confirmed that frontline RNs are dispersed employees, working full time but only three days a week 12 hours a day. Nurses that only work two days a week had a statistically lower transactional distance scale score compared to nurses that work five days a week. There was also a statistically lower transactional distance scale score in the nurses that rotated shifts compared to those that worked the day shift. Internal consistency of the total transactional distance scale was analyzed at a Cronbach’s Alpha of .929. Factor analysis of the data resulted in a four-factor model that explained 55.13% of the variance. Ten variables with loadings ranging from .920 to .423 loaded on factor one, dialogue. Ten variables loaded on factor two, structure, with loadings ranging from .745 to .428. Factor three, learner autonomy, contained six variables with loadings ranging from .938 to .654. The fourth factor was learner experience and consisted of six variables with loadings that ranged from .782 to .457. This supports Moore’s Transactional Distance Theory.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Machtmes, Krisanna