Original Research

Academic monitoring and support of undergraduate nursing education programme: A middle-range theory

Prenola D. Mudaly, Ntombifikile G. Mtshali
Curationis | Vol 41, No 1 | a1881 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v41i1.1881 | © 2018 Prenola D. Mudaly, Ntombifikile G. Mtshali | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 November 2017 | Published: 03 December 2018

About the author(s)

Prenola D. Mudaly, School of Nursing and Public Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Ntombifikile G. Mtshali, School of Nursing and Public Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


Background: Globally, there is consensus on the need for student support to address high student attrition and low throughputs, especially in nursing and midwifery programmes.

Objectives: This study analysed the implementation of academic monitoring and support (AMS) in an undergraduate nursing programme to generate a context-informed academic monitoring and support middle-range theory.

Method: An ethnographic design and grounded theory approach were adopted in this study. Data sources included individual and focus group interviews, observations, reflective conversations and document analysis. Ethical clearance was obtained from the University Research Ethics Board, and ethical principles were maintained throughout the study.

Results: The country’s contextual conditions emerged as conditions that necessitated a comprehensive approach to student support to increase throughput in a nursing programme that attracted students from diverse backgrounds. A shared common vision, supportive leadership, collaboration and investing resources in a student support programme that uses a comprehensive and holistic approach emerged as key to an AMS model that will yield the desired outcomes. Major concepts in an AMS middle-ranged theory generated included education for social justice, visionary leadership, comprehensive, holistic and intentional student support, AMS pillars, AMS threats and process and goal-oriented consequences.

Conclusion: Academic monitoring and support is a tool used to facilitate access of all deserving students to an undergraduate nursing programme and to ensure that they all have an equal chance to succeed academically, resulting in improved throughput rates. Strengthening support in clinical settings is recommended and further research to improve effectiveness of AMS programmes is suggested.


Academic monitoring and support; undergraduate nursing; grounded theory


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