Original Research

Strategies to improve the performance of learners in a nursing college Part I: Issues pertaining to nursing education

E Waterson, E Harms, L Qupe, J Maritz, M Manning, K Makobe, M Chabeli
Curationis | Vol 29, No 2 | a1077 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v29i2.1077 | © 2006 E Waterson, E Harms, L Qupe, J Maritz, M Manning, K Makobe, M Chabeli | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 September 2006 | Published: 28 September 2006

About the author(s)

E Waterson, Assistant Director; Ann Latsky Nursing College, South Africa
E Harms, Deputy Director; Ann Latsky Nursing College, South Africa
L Qupe, Assistant Director; Ann Latsky Nursing College, South Africa
J Maritz, Ann Latsky Nursing College, South Africa
M Manning, Ann Latsky Nursing College, South Africa
K Makobe, Ann Latsky Nursing College, South Africa
M Chabeli, Associate Professor; University Of Johannesburg, South Africa

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Abstract

Three focus group interviews were conducted. One group was formed by seven tutors, and the other two groups were formed by fourth-year learners following a fouryear comprehensive diploma course. All participants voluntarily took part in the study. Data was analyzed using the descriptive method of open coding by Tesch (in Creswell, 1994:154-156). Trustworthiness was ensured in accordance with Lincoln and Guba’s (1985:290-326) principles of credibility, conformability, transferability and dependability.
The findings were categorized into issues pertaining to nursing education as follows: curriculum overload; lack of theory and practice integration; teaching and assessment methods that do not promote critical thinking; tutors’ lack of skills and experience; inadequate preparation of tutors for lectures; insufficient knowledge of tutors regarding outcomes-based education approach to teaching and learning; inadequate process of remedial teaching; discrepancies between tutors’ marking; lack of clinical role-models and high expectations from the affiliated university as regards standards of nursing education in a nursing college. Strategies to improve the learners’ performance were described. It is recommended that these strategies be incorporated in the staff development programme by the staff development committee of the nursing college under study for implementation. Future research should focus on the effectiveness of the described strategies to improve the learners’ performance. It is also recommended that similar studies be conducted or replicated in other nursing colleges to address the problem of poor performance of learners engaged in a four-year comprehensive diploma course.

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