Original Research

Integration experiences of student and qualified nurses with disabilities who graduated from selected KwaZulu-Natal nursing education institutions: An exploratory case study

Selvarani Moodley, Gugu Mchunu
Curationis | Vol 41, No 1 | a1862 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v41i1.1862 | © 2018 Selvarani Moodley, Gugu Mchunu | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 August 2017 | Published: 23 August 2018

About the author(s)

Selvarani Moodley, KwaZulu-Natal College of Nursing, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Gugu Mchunu, School of Nursing and Public Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


Background: Despite the introduction of the Disability Policy Guidelines in South Africa (SA), student nurses who have disabilities (SNWDs) are still habitually and effectively excluded from nurse training programmes, and hence from the nursing profession. Yet SNWD may be able to offer a unique perspective.

Objectives: To explore and describe the integration experiences of both student and qualified nurses with disabilities who graduated from selected KwaZulu-Natal nursing education institutions (NEIs).

Method: A concurrent mixed-method design based on multiple embedded case studies served as the primary data collection instrument in this paper. The researcher initially conducted a survey of all the private NEIs to determine which had experienced training SNWDs; 3 cases and 10 embedded cases were selected, using non-probability purposive sampling. Individual interviews were conducted with students and qualified nurses with who have a disability (n = 10) who had graduated from NEIs.

Results: The findings of the study indicated that, largely, private NEIs are paving the way for integrating SNWDs; however, there are still some gaps in meeting the needs of these students. Despite strong legislative policies, an inclusive and enabling teaching and learning environment for SNWDs in nurse training remains largely absent.

Conclusion: The study recommends that NEIs develop policy guidelines for integrating SNWDs in nursing education programmes promoting an inclusive nursing education for SNWDs. The introduction of a disability liaison to assist SNWDs by liaising between key stakeholders and, perhaps, addressing many of the challenges that SNWDs experience in the clinical facilities where nursing personnel are unaware of their disability.


student nurses with disabilities; nurses with disabilities; integration; nurse training


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