Nurse educators' perceptions of the implementation of recognition of prior learning in nursing colleges in Limpopo Province
Baloyi, Tinyiko Sophie
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Recognition of prior learning, better known as RPL, was introduced to training institutions in South Africa after the fall of Apartheid. The objective of RPL was to redress inequalities brought about by Apartheid when disadvantaged groups had less access to training opportunities. RPL was introduced with a combination of associated training and education initiatives such as the National Qualification Framework and the South African Qualifications Authority, all directed for a similar purpose. The South African Nursing Council agreed with the principles of RPL and published a policy document aimed to guide nurse educators to enhance RPL implementation in South African nursing education institutions. Despite the support from accessible legislative and regulatory documentation, RPL is implemented insufficiently in nursing education institutions. The lack of RPL implementation was also identified by the researcher in the Limpopo College of Nursing. This College of Nursing can be described as a symbol of post-Apartheid re-integration whereby nursing colleges centralised into one administrative management office with campuses, satellite campuses and over 120 nurse educators. The research question asked was what are nurse educators’ perceptions of the implementation of RPL in nursing colleges in Limpopo Province? The aim was to support nurse educators to enhance the implementation of RPL in nursing colleges in Limpopo Province. A qualitative, phenomenological, explorative, descriptive and contextual research design was followed. Seven (n=7) individual, in-depth, unstructured interviews were conducted with nurse educators employed at the X Campus and Y Satellite Campus of the Limpopo College of Nursing. Transcribed interviews were analysed and resulted in three main themes and nine sub-themes. Firstly, the participants voiced their agreement that RPL should be implemented and identified specific benefits and challenges thereof. Secondly, there should be a RPL assessment package that should be open and transparent, be able to assess academic performance against college standards and should minimise inequalities. The third main theme was the need for enhanced awareness of RPL implementation in nursing colleges. Nurse educators lack knowledge about RPL and should therefore be more awareness thereof. In addition RPL should be promoted as a beneficial mechanism to the learning process. These results were discussed with a literature integration and in the majority of results literature confirmed these findings. Conclusion statements were formulated from the research results and served as the basis for the formulation of recommendations to support nurse educators with the implementation of RPL in nursing colleges in Limpopo Province. The recommendations were directed to firstly the policy makers in nursing education; secondly to the nursing education institutions and thirdly to the nurse educators. Areas for further research were listed. Strategies to enhance trustworthiness and the adherence of ethical considerations were supported throughout this study.
- Health Sciences