Absenteeism amongst nursing students in a Limpopo college of nursing
Baloyi, Phoenicia Dinah
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Globally, student absenteeism is seen as a period of time when students do not attend classes. This is a serious concern for lecturers at institutions of higher learning (Lipscomb & Snelling, 2010:573). In South Africa, student absenteeism is rampant amongst university and college students (Wadesango & Machingambi, 2011:89), and it is also a problem in the Limpopo Province (Ramodike, 2008:2). The objectives of this study were to explore and describe the reasons for nursing students to be absent from class in a college of nursing in the Limpopo Province, and to formulate strategies to reduce student absenteeism in a college of nursing in the Limpopo Province. The research design in this study was quantitative, descriptive, exploratory and cross sectional in nature. The sample included nursing students, from level I to level IV of their studies (n=209), registered at a college of nursing in the Limpopo Province. The data was collected using the Factors influencing Absenteeism Questionnaire (FIAQ) (Fayombo, 2012). EpiData and SPSS statistical programmes were used to analyse the data. The results of the study showed that nursing students absent themselves from class due to aspects of student-centred factors, for instance when they want to prepare for examination (53.1%; n=111); and home-related factors, most nursing students reported that they are absent from class when there is death of a family member (63.2%; n=132). Regarding school-related factors, most nursing students indicated that poor infrastructural facilities in school provide reasons for students’ absenteeism (39.2%; n=82). However, the results revealed that there is no relation between social factors and students’ absenteeism, as most of the respondents (48.3%; n=100) disagreed that the unavailability of entertainment like malls or movies around the campus is a cause of student absenteeism. With regard to measures to reduce students’ absenteeism, most of the respondents (73.7%, n=154) indicated that they need a prize giving ceremony for students that are never absent from class. A further 54.1% (n=113) reported that they want a motivating program that will emphasise the benefits of attending classes, and 47.8% (n=100) indicated that they need a program that teaches friendly and mutual lecturer-student relationships. Recommendations for nursing education, practice, future research and a policy were made.
- Health Sciences