Original Research - Special Collection: Contemporary Issues in Nursing

Support of students by academics in a nursing foundation programme at a university in the Western Cape

Annelize D. Daniels, Karien Jooste
Curationis | Vol 41, No 1 | a1927 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v41i1.1927 | © 2018 Annelize Daphne Daniels | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 February 2018 | Published: 07 August 2018

About the author(s)

Annelize D. Daniels, Department of Nursing, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa
Karien Jooste, Department of Nursing, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa


Background: Owing to the inadequate schooling system and the under-preparedness of students in South African high schools, Higher Education Institutions are faced with students who do not meet the minimum criteria for acceptance into a mainstream programme and need support from an extended foundation programme.

Objectives: The study described the support of students by lecturers in an extended 5-year nursing foundation programme.

Method: A qualitative, exploratory and descriptive design was applied. Purposive sampling was conducted, and eight nursing students who completed the foundation year took part in semi-structured individual interviews. Each interview took around 30 min and was digitally recorded. Data were transcribed verbatim and analysed using open coding. Ethical principles and trustworthiness were maintained throughout the study.

Results: The findings of this study indicated that experiences varied on a foundation programme. Participants expressed support in a nurturing environment in which the lecturers were open and approachable with a positive attitude. Lecturers could support students by being caring and advising in learning methods around the programme. Lecturers could focus on the method of peer support which should be encouraged beyond the programme so as to provide a sense of camaraderie amongst students.

Conclusion: Data revealed that support of lecturers in a foundation programme needs creative methods to make the learning environment nurturing for students. This provides for students from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to prepare for their studies at a university level. Insights gained from this study, which highlight the importance of supporting foundation students, could benefit all nurse educators offering foundation programmes.


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