Hiley, Ellean Ann (2016) The Theoretical Component of a Professional Nursing Programme is Pivotal to Nurse Registration: A Pre-Registration Student Nurses Perspective. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This case study research involves a unique cohort of seven third year pre-registration student nurses (PRSNs) towards the end of their nursing programme with a North West Higher Educational Institution (HEI).

The aim of the research was to provide the reader with a deeper understanding of the experiences, motivation and challenges of the PRSNs when completing the theoretical component of their nursing programme within the current socio-political and professional nurse education reforms.

A Case study approach to gather and interpret the PRSNs perceptions of their nursing programme was necessary. Data was collected through use of focus groups, PRSNs Personal reflections and academic grades. Thematic network analysis and descriptive analysis were used to interpret the data followed by Triangulation of the findings.

The key findings suggest that a definitive demarcation between the engagement of PRSNs to the theory and practical components of the nursing programme. Other key findings included which impacted on the PRSNs learning and motivation were, the actions of others, the increase in academic level and the use of formative assessment. The main external challenge to be recognised was the need for some of the PRSNs to undertake additional paid work distracting them from their studies.

The nursing programme is currently ‘fit for prurpose’ with PRSNs meeting all the necessary requirements to apply for registration status. However, amendments to the programme would improve the PRSNs expereince. Therefore the recommendations would be as follows, to increase student engagement and maintain flexibility within programme development, change the delivery model, amalgamate academic and professional regulations and change the current grading system.

It should be recognised that pre -registration programmes throughout the country incorporate similar standards and therefore generality of the study can be applied. Future research to enhance student re-motivation, to decrease the theory practice gap, change assessment marking practices and raise public awareness of degree awards for nurses will prove beneficial.

FINAL THESIS - Hiley.pdf - Accepted Version
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