Exploring the nursing student experience at a remote Australian university campus: a qualitative study

Hays, Catherine, Devine, Sue, and Glass, Beverley (2022) Exploring the nursing student experience at a remote Australian university campus: a qualitative study. BMC Nursing, 21. 211.

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Background: Nurses constitute most of the rural and remote Australian health workforce, however staff shortages in these regions are common. Rural exposure, association, and undertaking rural clinical placements can influence health students’ decision to work rurally after graduation, however attending university in rural and remote regions has been shown to be a great contributor. An improved understanding of these nursing students’ experiences may inform changes to teaching and support strategies for these students, which in turn could improve their retention and completion rates, contributing to a more sustainable rural and remote Australian nursing workforce. This study aimed to explore and describe students’ experiences of studying nursing in the context of a satellite university campus located in a remote town, with a focus on education delivery methods, staff, support, student services, and barriers and enablers to successful study.

Methodology: Nine students participated in this qualitative descriptive study. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken, allowing participants to reflect on their experiences as nursing students in the context of a geographically remote satellite university campus. The resulting data were grouped into common themes and summarised.

Results: Students were generally positive regarding lectures delivered by videoconference or recorded lectures, as they allowed for greater flexibility which accommodated their busy personal lives. Face-to-face teaching was especially valuable, and students were particularly positive about their small cohort size, which enabled the creation of strong, supportive relationships between students, their cohort, and teaching and support staff. However, barriers related to student demographics and some difficulties with course engagement and campus staffing were experienced.

Conclusions: The experiences of nursing students at remote university campuses are different from those experienced by traditional, metropolitan university students. Although these nursing students face additional barriers unique to the remote campus context, they benefit from a range of enabling factors, including their close relationships with other students, staff, family, and their local community.

Item ID: 77202
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1472-6955
Keywords: Education, Health workforce, Rural health, Rural nursing, Nursing students
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2022. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2023 00:40
FoR Codes: 39 EDUCATION > 3903 Education systems > 390303 Higher education @ 100%
SEO Codes: 16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1603 Teaching and curriculum > 160399 Teaching and curriculum not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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