Comparative analysis of recognition of prior learning vs traditional entrance to a nursing program
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INTRODUCTION: Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is one of several methods to measure the equivalence of access entry criteria into an educational program for mature adults. This study presents the reader with the results of a comparative analysis of the performance of students who accessed a basic nursing program through the process of recognition of prior learning (RPL) and those students who accessed the same program through the traditional routes of entry. AIM: The overall aim was to establish a RPL program that could be implemented to allow students an alternative method of access to nursing programs. METHODS: Stuffelbeam's Product evaluation was used to guide this phase of the research project. Two groups of samples were drawn, one from students who accessed the nursing programme through RPL and the others through the traditional route in each of the three Nursing Education Institutions in Kwa-Zulu Natal. The mean scores of the two groups were compared for significant differences using the Mann-Whitney U test. RESULTS: There were no significant differences in the performances between groups of candidates. Once in the basic nursing programs, the RPL candidates performed as well as the other candidates. CONCLUSION: Mature adults who access educational programs via RPL are capable to perform at an equivalent level as those candidates who access educational programs via the traditional route.