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Perceptions and Incidence of Academic Dishonesty Among Nurse Anesthesia Students: An Exploration Through Descriptive Study

Corinne Kantor, RN, DNP, CRNA

DNP Nurse Anesthesia 

Perceptions and Incidence of Academic Dishonesty Among Nurse Anesthesia Students: A Descriptive Study

Project Category: Evidence Generation

Project Team: Corinee Kantor, DNP, CRNA Samantha Greenwald, DNP, CRNA  Lori Anderson, DNP, CRNA (Advisor) 


Background: The prevention and detection of academic integrity violations has long been a focus of faculty, organizations, and regulatory accreditation agencies. This study aims to elucidate the incidence of, perceptions about, and motivators for acts of academic dishonesty specific to nurse anesthesia students, as well as how the concept of academic integrity is defined among this population. 

Methods: A descriptive study using an anonymous electronic survey was deployed to 3,000 randomly selected student members of the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (AANA). The 50-question survey targeted motivators of academic integrity violations, student supplied definitions, and scenario analysis. Quantitative data was reported using descriptive statistics, and qualitative data was synthesized using grounded theory.

Results: Key sample demographics were consistent with the demographics of the SRNA population. 26% of participants indicated they had used information from another student to complete a test or quiz. 31% knew someone who had cheated on an exam within their current program. 67.65% of respondents stating they felt pressure to keep secrets about academic integrity violations.98% indicated that maintaining academic integrity was not everyone’s responsibility, and 99% did not feel that upholding academic integrity was important. 96% of participants felt their program did not take reports of violations of academic integrity seriously. 

Conclusions: Academic integrity remains multifaceted and individual. Participants' responses to the survey demonstrated a need for systemic ownership of academic integrity, enforcement of violations and penalties, and the need for reporting mechanisms. As this study serves as a pilot, tentative results indicate a need for continued study and further analysis. 

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