Factors influencing the throughput of master degree nursing students at a university in South Africa

Loubser, Helena Wilhelmina (2013-03)

Thesis (MCurr)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Scientific evidence based practices are essential to efficient health service delivery. Continuous education to Master’s Degree level is the springboard to future research projects, but the throughput of Master’s Degree students is however a concern. The poor attainment rate of Master’s Degree in nursing delays improvement in evidence based nursing practices and impedes the availability of academia. This study aimed to identify factors that influence the throughput of Master’s Degree nursing students in a distance education programme at a university in South Africa. The objective was to identify influencing factors related to • the individual • the Higher Education Institution • the employer A non-experimental, descriptive research design was applied with a quantitative approach. The target population was all the enrolled Master’s Degree Nursing students between 2004 and 2010 at the university under study. A structured electronic questionnaire was implemented for data collection. The questionnaire was presented to (n = 201) with a response rate of (n = 46/23%). Ethical approval was obtained from Stellenbosch University to conduct this study. Permission was obtained from the university under study to utilize the contact details on the data base of the target population. Reliability and validity was assured by two pilot studies to test the instrument and the use of experts in nursing research, methodology and statistics. The electronic instrument allowed automatic data capturing. The collected data was archived in the accessed controlled electronic data surveys pool of Stellenbosch University. Data analysis was done with the support of a statistician and was expressed as frequencies and in tables. Descriptive statistics and tests for statistical associations were also performed. The individual related outcomes showed that respondents had a mean age of 42 years and (n = 22/48%) had 21 to 40 years experience as a professional nurse. The majority of respondents were female (n = 45/98%) and married (n = 30/54%). Results indicated that the management of family and studies was not easy (n = 30/65%), but respondents experienced their family as an effective support (n = 37/80%) during their studies. Respondents who left their studies indicated the main reason to be a lack of a supporting network (n = 7/19%). Impeding factor results from the Higher Education Institution showed that WebCT was not an effective communication instrument (n = 19/42%) and (n = 22/48%) respondents had difficulty to access their supervisors. Enhancing factors related to study outcomes that were easy to comprehend (n = 39/85%) and efficiency of face-to-face workshops (n = 21/88%) provided support. All the respondents were employed at the time of study (n = 46/100%). Results showed that service demands were the reason why (n = 4/11%) non-completing respondents left their studies. Employers required from (n = 22/48%) respondents to do overtime during their studies. Employer demands influenced the studies of (n = 16/65%) respondents. In conclusion, this study showed specific factors that influence the throughput of Master’s Degree in Nursing students at the university under study. Recommendations were made to influence policy makers and stakeholders to reconsider their present practices regarding continuous education and support to their clients.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Wetenskaplikgefundeerde uitkomsgebaseerde praktyke is noodsaakik vir doeltreffende gesondheidsdienslewering. Voortgesette onderrig tot die vlak van ’n Magistergraad is die vertrekpunt vir toekomstige navorsingsprojekte, maar die voltooiing van Magistergrade is egter ‘n bekommernis. Die gebrekkige verwerwing van Meestersgrade in Verpleegkunde het nie net ’n sleureffek op die verbetering van uitkomsgebaseerde verpleegpraktyke nie, dit strem ook die beskikbaarheid van akademici. Die studie het ten doel gehad om faktore te identifiseer wat die voltooiing van die Magistergraad in Verpleegkunde vir studente van die afstandsonderrigprogram, aan ‘n universiteit in Suid-Afrika, beïnvloed. Die doelwit behels die identifisering van faktore wat te make het met • die individu • die Hoëronderwys Instansie • die werkgewer ’n Nie–eksperimentele, beskrywende navorsingsontwerp met ’n kwantitatiewe benadering is gevolg. Die teikengroep is al die ingeskrewe Magisterstudente in Verpleegkunde tussen 2004 en 2010 aan die teiken-universiteit. ’n Gestruktureerde elektroniese-vraelys is gebruik vir dataversameling. Die vraelys is aangebied aan (n = 201) kandidate en ‘n (n = 46/23%) voltooiingrespons is verkry. Etiese goedkeuring om die studie te doen is van die Universiteit Stellenbosch verkry. Toestemming is ook van die teiken-universiteit verkry om die kontakbesonderhede van die teikenbevolking vanuit die databasis te benut. Betroubaarheid en geldigheid is deur twee loodsstudies verseker en vakkundiges in verpleegnavorsing, metodologie en statistiek is betrek by die studie. Die elektroniese instrument het voorsiening gemaak vir outomatiese datavaslegging met voltooiing. Die versamelde data is in die toegangsbeheerde elektroniese-navorsingsdatabank van die Universiteit Stellenbosch geberg. Die data is ontleed met die hulp van ‘n statistikus en is as frekwensies en tabelle weergegee. Beskrywende statistiek en toetse vir statistiese verhoudings is ook uitgevoer. Die bevindings rakende die individu dui daarop die gemiddelde ouderdom van deelnemers 42 jaar was en dat (n = 22/45%) tussen 21 en 40 jaar ervaring as professionele verpleegkundiges het. Die meeste van die deelnemers was vroulik (n = 45/98%) en getroud (n = 30/54%). Bevindings toon dat die hantering van familie en studies nie maklik was nie (n = 30/65%), maar deelnemers het egter hul familie as goeie ondersteuning (n = 37/80%) gedurende hul studies beleef. Deelnemers wat hul studies gestaak het, het as die hoofrede ’n gebrek aan ‘n ondersteuningsnetwerk aangevoer (n = 7/19%). Bevindings wat verwys na stremmende faktore van die Hoëronderwysinstelling hou verband met WebCT wat ondoeltreffend was as kommunikasie-instrument (n = 19/42%) en studieleiers wat moeilik deur deelnemers bereik kon word (n = 22/48%). Versterkende faktore was verwant aan studiedoelwitte wat maklik verstaanbaar was (n = 39/85%) en die ondersteuningsukses van aangesig tot aangesig werkswinkels (n = 21/88%). Al die deelnemers was in diens tydens hul studie (n = 46/100%). Bevindings toon dat diensverwagtinge die rede was waarom (n = 4/11%) deelnemers hul studies gestaak het. Werkgewers het van (n = 22/48%) deelnemers verwag om oortyd te werk tydens hul studies terwyl (n = 16/65%) deelnemers aangedui het dat hul studies beïnvloed was deur hul werkgewer se eise. Ten slotte, hierdie studie het getoon dat spesifieke faktore die voltooiing van Magisterstudies in Verpleegkunde aan die teiken-universiteit beïnvloed. Aanbevelings is gemaak om beleidmakers en belangegroepe te beïnvloed om hul bestaande praktyke rakende voortgesette onderrig en ondersteuning aan hul kliënte te heroorweeg.

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