Why are student nurses leaving pre-registration nurse training?

P. Hosgood, B. Jack

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Background: There has been a steady increase in the number of student nurses withdrawing from pre registration courses in the UK. In 2002 the Department of Health set an attrition target of ��% (DH, 2002), however in 2006 there was an average attrition rate of 28% (Waters 2006). This has several implications including; the potential loss of workforce, and financial constraints imposed upon the Higher Education Institutions where funding for nurse lecturers is linked to student numbers. Although studies have been published around this topic, there is limited literature exploring the issue from the perspective of students after they have withdrawal (Last and Fulbrook 200�). Methodology: A qualitative methodological approach using semi structured tape recorded telephone interviews was adopted for the study. A purposive sampling approach that included all students who had voluntarily withdrawn from the course within the previous year was utilised. Data was analysed using a thematic content analysis approach. Results and Discussion: All �8 students who had withdrawn from the course were invited to participate in the study (although it is unclear if addresses were current) and nine agreed to be interviewed. The results indicated there was no one single factor caused them to withdraw from the course, rather a combination of factors. Reasons included: financial factors, having to travel to placements, the volume and level of academic work, the nature and experiences they had of clinical placements and a lack of support. Interestingly seven of the respondents reported the branch (ie child, adult, mental health, learning disability) they were on was not their first choice. This paper will discuss the findings including the issues surrounding data collected at the exit interview. Suggestions will be made as to how they could be addressed to potentially reduce student attrition rates.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2007
EventRoyal College of Nursing (RCN) Education Forum Conference & Exhibition - Brighton, United Kingdom
Duration: 5 Jul 20077 Jul 2007


ConferenceRoyal College of Nursing (RCN) Education Forum Conference & Exhibition
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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