Thursday, 8 October 2015

How useful is pre-nursing experience?

Roger Watson, Editor


Keeping people in nursing is a problem as is keeping nursing students in nursing education in the UK. Dropout from universities is high, many never enter nursing after graduation and many leave early. But how do we attract people into nursing and ensure that the ones who come in are suited to the programme of study and to working as nurses? A Scottish study reported by Smith et al. (2105) in an article titled: 'I know exactly what I’m going into”: recommendations for pre-nursing experience from an evaluation of a pre-nursing scholarship in rural Scotland' reports on the experiences of school pupils undertaking a residential period of experience in some aspects of nursing. In the words of the authors, the aims of the scholarship were 'to inspire school leavers to consider nursing careers, aspire to university-level education and alert pupils to the availability of nurse education closer to home.'

Forty two school pupils (n = 42) completed questionnaires and participated in anecdote circles and 33 student nurses acting as pupil ‘buddies’ participated in focus groups. The programme was successful in increasing the number of pupils who wanted to become nurses and those who did made very positive comments such as: 'I now know for sure I want to be a nurse.' Pupils particularly enjoyed clinical skills experience and liked being treated, educationally, as adults. Some realised how difficult nursing was but also that they were able to speak to patients. Ten specific recommendations for running such schemes are provided in the article by Smith et al. (2015)


Reference

Smith A, Beatttie M, Kyle RG (2015) “I know exactly what I’m going into”: recommendations for pre-nursing experience from an evaluation of a pre-nursing scholarship in rural Scotland Nursing Open doi: 10.1002/nop2.23

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