• Development and evaluation of an online, interaction information and advice tool for pre-registration nursing students

      Ryan, Gemma Sinead; Davies, Fiona; University of Derby (Elsevier, 2016-01)
      Attrition rates for student nurses on academic programmes is a challenge for UK Higher Education Institutions. Reasons for leaving a programme of study include personal, financial issues or practice placement experiences. Research has shown systematic and integrated support mechanisms may improve attrition rates and student experience. This project explored the sources of, and support needs of nursing and allied health students, develop and evaluate and interactive online tool: ‘SignpOSt’. Enabling students to access ‘the right support, at the right time, from the right place’. Focus groups were carried out with 14, 3rd year students and 8 academic staff including personal tutors, programme/module leaders. Thematic analysis of transcribed data under four key themes for support and advice: 1. Financial 2. Programme 3. Personal 4. Study/academic, found poor student knowledge and little clarity of responsibilities of academic staff and services leads to students sourcing support from the wrong place at the wrong time. Students valued the speed and accessibility of information from informal, programme specific Facebook groups. Conversely, there were also concerns about the accuracy of these. Further research into the use of informal Facebook groups may be useful along with additional evaluation of the SOS tool.