Exploring the quality of nursing education at a College in the North West: student’s voices
Mkhokheli, Ntshediseng Prudence
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Background: Quality in higher education institutions (HEIs) is no longer an option, it is a compelling factor. It is highly demanded by all stakeholders of higher education (HE), hence nursing education institutions (NEIs) as providers of nursing education (NE) should provide quality nursing education as it impacts across the general public. Quality in nursing education directly impact on the quality of clinical care rendered hence there is a dire need to offer quality amidst growing student numbers at NEIs. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore and describe the perceptions of nursing students regarding the quality of Nursing Education (NE) they received and to make recommendations with regard to the quality of Nursing Education. Method: An explorative, descriptive and contextual qualitative design was followed in this study. The study was guided by the SERVQUAL Model which comprises of five constructs. The primary customers of NE are nursing students, therefore a purposive sampling technique was used and thirteen (13) final year students from two campuses of the public nursing college in the North West were interviewed informed by data saturation. Individual, semi – structured interviews were conducted. Trustworthiness was ensured in accordance with the principles of credibility, transferability, dependability and confirmability. Data were captured on audiotape and transcribed verbatim. Field notes were taken during the interviews and immediately thereafter. Results: Five (5) themes emerged from the findings in line with the guiding model. The first theme described the quality of NE, focussing on theoretical and clinical teaching and learning. The second theme discussed the motivation arising from both the academic and clinical staff as agents who shape professionalism in nursing students. The third theme discussed the role of resources as perceived by students in their education. The fourth theme focussed on the interactions between students and lecturers as well as how it related to their education .The last theme discussed curriculum appropriateness as perceived by final year students. Conclusion: The results of the study indicated a negative quality gap in all the themes identified and the largest gap was in the resources. The findings imply that there was a need for improvement across all five themes identified. The conclusions based on the study was that student’s expectations and perceptions on quality of nursing education at a college in the North West was poor. This presented a challenge to the Nursing Education Institution (NEI) as quality was on demand by all stakeholders of Nursing Education. The researcher therefore recommended that a total revitalisation of infrastructure and intensified investment in the academic resources was necessary.
- Health Sciences