Should nursing-related work experience be a prerequisite for acceptance into a nursing programme? A study of students' reasons for withdrawing from undergraduate nursing at an Australian university

Anne Wilson, Anna Chur-Hansen, Amy Marshall, Tracy Air

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    22 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Aim: This paper reports on two studies that examined why students withdrew from a Bachelor of Nursing degree. Background: With the aim of recruiting undergraduate candidates who are the most likely to complete the degree and pursue a nursing career, the University of Adelaide requires high matriculation scores and satisfactory performance in a structured oral assessment as part of the process of selection. Method: In the first study, two questionnaires were used to collect data from all applicants before and after an oral assessment. The degree of personal desire and motivation to become a Registered Nurse, including knowledge about nursing and the profession were among qualities rated. For the second study, semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with students who had withdrawn. Results: Statistical comparison showed there were significant differences between continuing and withdrawing applicants in whether or not they had previous nursing-related experience and in knowing someone who was a nurse. The qualitative data reinforced the importance of these factors for attrition. Participants identified emotional issues surrounding an aversion to illness, sickness, pain, suffering and blood. Conclusion: The results of both studies suggest that a primary factor in attrition is a lack of realistic expectation regarding nursing as a profession.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)456-460
    Number of pages5
    JournalNurse Education Today
    Volume31
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011

    Keywords

    • Attrition
    • Nurse education
    • Undergraduate

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