Reflecting on some of the challenges facing postgraduate nursing education in South Africa
MetadataShow full item record
Considering the dearth of professional nurses in South Africa today, and the fact that postgraduate nursing education can contribute towards enhancing the competences of those in the profession, I shall examine some of the challenges faced by a group of previously enrolled postgraduate nursing students which resulted in their non-completion of a formal qualification. The focus of this investigation was a 2008 cohort of students that did not complete their non-clinical postgraduate diplomas at the institution where I work. Of the 29 students who did not complete their studies, I have selected a group of 8 students through a purposive non-random sample with the objective to ascertain some of the reasons for them not completing their diploma. My aim was to examine some of the reasons as to why postgraduate nursing students do not complete their qualification and to suggest ways as to how the curriculum can be reconstructed as to counteract some of students' pitfalls.Based on my qualitative interpretive analysis, I shall argue that these students did not complete their diplomas on the grounds of, having experienced a lack of institutional and social support; their inability to cope with the demands of academic rigour; their experiences of isolation and exclusion; and, the inability to cope with unimagined realities. My contention is that if postgraduate nursing is not adequately attended to, the possibility that nursing education would not contribute to the transformation of the profession, is highly possible.