Factors that promote or inhibit students’ success to qualify for entrance to the South African Nursing Council R2175 final examination
Introduction: The enrolled nurse is an important category of nurse in the health team. Regulation 2175 is the course leading to enrolment as a nurse, according to the South African Nursing Council, in terms of the Nursing Act 33 of 2005 as amended. This category has completed the training programme R2176 which is a course leading to enrolment as an auxiliary nurse. This level of training occurs in accredited hospitals schools, however it appears, from observation and personal experience, that pupil nurses experience many problems and programme does not have high pass rates. There has been no formal investigation of this situation. The aim of this study was to investigate factors that promote or inhibit nursing students’ success in qualifying for entrance to the SANC R2175 final examination at one of the nursing schools in the Western Cape. The objectives were (i) identify factors that promote or inhibit learning amongst the pupil nurses; and to (ii) determine the perceptions of educators with regard to factors related to the pupil nurses success or failure. Methods: The study used a multi-method approach. A quantitative, explorative and descriptive design was applied. Target population (N=90), consisted of student nurses following the course leading to registration as an enrolled nurse (R2175) according to Nursing Act No 33 of 2005. Convenience sampling was used to select participants to respond to a questionnaire which was used to collect data. In qualitative approach the target population consisted of nurse educators (N=6). Non-probability, purposive sampling was used to select participants for the focus group interview. Ethics: Ethical approval to conduct the study was obtained from the University of Western Cape and the University of Cape Town. Informed consent was obtained from the students and from the educators prior the commencement of the study. The questionnaire was pretested to ensure to ensure reliability and validity. Quantitative data was analysed with the help of the University statistician and was expressed in frequency tables and factor analysis. Qualitative data was analysed using coding to develop categories and themes with the help of the supervisor. Results: The results showed that academic performance by place of residence had a significant difference between the urban and rural students (x2 (1) = 0.014). The marital status of the student showed significant association with academic performance (x2 (3) = 0.021). The association between support from family and academic performance was significant (x2 (1) = 0.008). The focus group discussion with the nurse educators confirmed and supported some of the finding of the student survey. Recommendations: Some of the researcher’s recommendations included: a review of the recruitment and selection process; review of the curriculum; review of the value of bursary; reinstatement of the bridging programme and the implementation of preceptors in the clinical facilities.