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Dossier n. 152/2007 [Abstract] Dropout in University Courses in nursing in Emilia-Romagna: a non-choice?


The volume presents a research led in the Courses in nursing of the four Universities in Emilia-Romagna to study the dropout phenomenon. The root hypothesis is to consider dropouts as a multi-factorial phenomenon due to the interlacement of three factors: subjective ones (students’ motivations to in this professional choice and their perception of the job), structural ones (courses organization, workloads for students, impact with training) and environmental (problems due to residence and attendance of courses). The goal of the research is to identify which of these factors is more causative of dropouts.

The method adopted was a quali-quantitative one, with an exploratory phase followed by a quantitative one. At the beginning, during focus groups students (both still attending courses and dropouts) are asked about their interests; these themes were then included in the questionnaire for the second phase of the survey. The questionnaire was prepared in two different versions: one was given to students at the beginning of the course, the other was given after the first training experience.

The main results indicate that the three factors all affect the dropout phenomenon, even if in different ways. Structural factors seem to be the most relevant, in particular referring to difficulties in theoric learning and problems in training. Among the learning difficulties, the most quoted are concentration of many different disciplines in a little time (34%), lack of time for studying (26.7%) and lack of a background education (21.7%). Among the problems in training, the difficulty to manage studying and training (52.3%), but also the strong emotional impact with assistance practice and the not always easy relations with ward nurses and tutors.

As far as subjective factors, they mainly refer to a change in students’ attitude due to disillusion for the profession, often caused by impact with the training period. Comparing students’ ideas of the job before and after training, positive images decrease – such as gratification for the relationship with the patient (-5.5%) or for helping suffering people (-8.4%); on the other side, negative images increase, such as psycho-physical stress (+4.2%).

Also environmental factors influence the decision to leave courses, in particular they refer to economical problems

It is interesting that 23.2% of the students interviewed in their first year of study thought to dropout, because of too hard work (32.2%), relational problems (20.2%), economical difficulties (11.3%) and disillusion (10.6%).

To conclude, it can be said that structural factors (impact with University) play a great role in internal selectivity, which however is connected with external selectivity, represented by social and economical aspects.

The dropout from University nursing courses is therefore called “a non-choice” as it is mainly caused by internal structural factors and external environmental ones, rather than a real choice of the student due to some subjective elements.


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pubblicato il 2007/06/28 00:00:00 GMT+2 ultima modifica 2019-01-17T18:12:12+02:00

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