Do students enter nursing programmes with a caring disposition? An exploration of the qualities and values held by students entering pre-registration nursing in one English University

This source preferred by Andrew Harding, Jill Phillips, Janet Scammell, Eleanor Jack, Ian Donaldson, Karen Cooper, Ann Hemingway, Vanessa Heaslip and Sara White

Authors: Rosser, E., Hemingway, A., Harding, A., Cooper, K., Donaldson, I., Heaslip, V., Jack, E., Phillips, J., Scammell, J. and White, S.

Start date: 3 September 2013

Journal: 3.9.13

Background: Within the UK, the nursing profession has received a deal of media coverage in recent years about the presence of abuse and neglect in nursing care. As higher education programmes preparing nurses for the profession move to an all-graduate intake by September 2013, there has been an increased focus on the adequacy of education in preparing them for their future role. In a mechanistic world of increasing technology and targets, there is a need to demonstrate compassion and caring attitudes to rebalance and focus on the needs of the individual. Coupled with continued radical change in the National Health Service and Higher Education, providing evidence that health service and educational interventions are effective will increasingly become a fiscal, social and political priority. Aim/purpose: This study is the initial phase of a six phase longtitudinal study. The study will explore the impact of an innovative nursing curriculum based on a humanising framework, on new nursing recruits’ personal beliefs about the core values of nursing.

Methods: Individual interviews will be undertaken with a whole cohort of adult nursing students (n=21) to explore their beliefs about the core values of nursing as they commence their pre-qualifying programme. Of this group, 4 (18%) are mature students (over 35 years) and 16 (73%) have experience as healthcare Assistants. Data will be collected in February 2013, transcribed verbatim, analysed thematically before reporting. Ethics approval has been granted and students prepared by formal written invitation, participant information sheet and consent form. Further interviews and focus groups will be followed up at the end of their first placement, end of years one, two and three and six months after completion. Findings: It is anticipated their beliefs will be wide and varied and be influenced by a range of factors depending on their life experiences. It is planned to follow up these students at significant points throughout their programme and compared with students on a new curriculum based on a humanised philosophy.

Conclusion: It is anticipated the findings will be of interest to stakeholders in education and practice to find ways of positively influencing the student experience in support of developing their value base and future professional practice.

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