Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


The purposes of this study were to develop a method of assessment of the education function for hospitals and to ascertain if there was a significant difference in the education function of two like-size hospitals. One hospital is military, U.S. Army Community Hospital located at Fort Polk, Louisiana, and the other is civilian, Baton Rouge General Hospital, located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. These two hospitals were selected for this study because of their similarities in size, state, educational mission and, most important, because of their organization for education. Both hospital education programs are decentralized, having a staff development section and a nursing education section. In order to accomplish the purposes for this study, the author developed the WHIPS instrument. WHIPS is an acronym for Whitesell's Hospital Instructional Program Survey. This instrument was developed from sixteen major characteristics which are necessary for a hospital to have a effective education program. These sixteen characteristics were developed from the literature in the field of hospital education. The sixteen characteristics were then divided into the major areas of "program purpose" and "organization and administration." Three statements were then developed for each of the sixteen characteristics which became the WHIPS. Once the instrument was developed, it was pilot tested at a large and small hospital in Baton Rouge, other than Baton Rouge General Hospital. As a result of the pilot test, some minor instructional changes were made to the instrument. The WHIPS was used to survey knowledgeable personnel who were familiar with the staff development or nursing education sections in their respective hospitals. The results of the survey demonstrated statistically there was a total of eleven characteristics where significant differences were found in the two hospital education programs. The major result of the study was the development of the WHIPS. From the interviews that followed the survey, all personnel who were interviewed agreed the WHIPS provided a useful tool to assess the education function's strengths and weaknesses found at their respective hospitals.