Cracking the nut of service learning in nursing at a Higher Education Institution
Frantz, Jose M.
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BACKGROUND: The readiness of academics to engage in the service-learning (SL) institutionalisation process is not accentuated in research on SL institutionalisation in South Africa. The argument has been advanced that SL scholarship and willingness of key stakeholders are crucial for SL institutionalisation at the academic programme level. AIM: The research focus of the study being reported here was on readiness of respondents to embed SL in the curricula of the nursing programme. METHOD: This study used a quantitative, exploratory and descriptive design. A self administered structured questionnaire was used to collect data from a stratified sample comprising 34 respondents. The data were analysed for descriptive statistics using SPSS 19. RESULTS: The demographic profile of the respondents indicated that 31 (66%) were between 31 and 50 years old; 36 (75.16%) had a minimum of 10 years’ nursing experience; 19 (39.6%) had a master’s degree, two (4.2%) had a doctorate; and 29 (60.4%) had been employed by the school for a maximum of five years. The results indicated that the nurse educators were in need of SL capacity-building because 9 (18.8%) had limited or no knowledge of SL and 24 (50%) confused SL with other forms of community engagement activities. However, only 15 (33%) of the clinical supervisors and 13 (27%) of the lecturers indicated a willingness to participate in such a programme. CONCLUSION: The school was not ready to embed SL in the academic programme because of a lack of SL scholarship and willingness to remediate the identified theory–practice gaps.