Mature students' experiences of undergraduate nurse education programmes: The Irish experience

O'Brien, F. and Keogh, B. and Neenan, K. (2009) Mature students' experiences of undergraduate nurse education programmes: The Irish experience. Nurse Education Today, 29 (6). pp. 635-640. ISSN 02606917 (ISSN)

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Abstract

In recent years mature students have been encouraged into nurse education for the valuable qualities they are known to possess, along with their ability to assist in providing a sustainable solution to the current health care crisis. Unfortunately corresponding resources and support structures have not accompanied this widening of access and mature students are expected to fit into structures that already exist, structures that were formulated with eighteen year olds in mind. This qualitative study explores the experiences of mature students in nurse education. Three discipline specific focus group interviews were used as a means of gathering data from 28 mature students. Data were analysed using thematic content analysis as described by Burnard [Burnard, P., 1991. A method of analysing interview transcripts in qualitative research. Nurse Education Today 11, 461-466]. Findings revealed that students continue to struggle with the academic component of the course. They also found it difficult to balance the home and university divide. Greater challenges were identified by female participants as they maintained their previous roles. Males on the other hand were provided with greater freedom to pursue their studies. There is a need for curricular changes to be implemented in order to provide a greater flexibility and supportive experience for mature students. Further research is advocated in this area. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Cited By :14; Export Date: 23 February 2015; Correspondence Address: O'Brien, F.; School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin, 24 D'Olier Street, Dublin, 2, Ireland; email: obrienfa@tcd.ie; References: An Bord Altranais, (2005) Nursing a Career for You, , Nursing Careers Centre, Dublin; Bond, 1992 cited in Meachin, K., Webb, C., 1996. Training to do women's work in a man's world. Nurse Education Today 16, 180-188Burnard, P., A method of analysing interview transcripts in qualitative research (1991) Nurse Education Today, 11, pp. 461-466; Curtis, L., Redmond, R., Focus groups in nursing research (2007) Nurse Researcher, 14 (2), pp. 25-37; Cuthbertson, P., Lauder, W., Steele, R., Cleary, S., Bradshaw, J., A comparative study of the course related family and financial problems of mature nursing students in Scotland and Australia (2004) Nurse Education Today, 24, pp. 373-381; (1994) Changing the Subject: Women in Higher Education, , Davies S., Lubelska C., and Quinn J. (Eds), Taylor and Francis, London; Finlayson, L., Nazroo, J., (1998) Gender Inequalities in Nursing Careers, , Policy Studies Institute, London; Fleming, S., McKee, G., The mature student question (2005) Nurse Education Today, 25, pp. 230-237; Fleming, T., Murphy, M., (1997) College Knowledge: Power. Policy and the Mature Student Experience at University, , MACE, Maynooth; French, M., (1985) Beyond Power: On Women, Men and Morals, , Ballitine Books, New York; Galligan, Y., The changing role of women (1998) Ireland and the Politics of Change, , Crotty W., and Schmitt D. (Eds), Longman, London; Government of Ireland, 1998. Report of the Commission on Nursing: A Blueprint for the Future. Stationary Office, DublinHarker, D., Slade, P., Harker, M., Exploring the decision process of school leavers and mature students in university choice (2001) Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, 11 (2), pp. 1-20; Holloway, I., Wheeler, S., (2004) Qualitative Research in Nursing. second ed., , Blackwell Science, Oxford; Howard, D., Student Nurses' Experiences of Project 2000 (2001) Nursing Standard, 15 (48), pp. 33-38; Inglis, T., Murphy, M., (1999) No Room for Adults?: A study of Mature Students in University College Dublin, , Brunswick Press Ltd., Dublin; Lane, P., McKenna, H., Ryan, A., Fleming, P., (2001) Nurse Researcher, 8 (3), pp. 45-49; Lauder, W., Cuthbertson, P., Course-related family and financial problems of mature nursing students (1998) Nurse Education Today, 18, pp. 419-425; Leonard, M., Educating real-life Ritas: Mature female students in higher education in Belfast (1999) Women and Education in Ireland, 1. , Connolly B., and Ryan A.B. (Eds), MACE, Maynooth; Lorber, J., (1994) Paradoxes of Gender, , Yale University Press, New Haven; Lowry, M., Attrition, attrition - we all fall down: re-evaluating staff selection and retention (1992) Professional Nurse, 7 (12), pp. 791-793; Lynch, K., A profile of mature students in higher education and an analysis of equality issues (1997) Mature Students in Higher Education: Proceedings of Conference in Athlone Regional Technical College 29 March, 1996, , Morris R. (Ed), Higher Education Equality Unit, Cork; Meachin, K., Webb, C., Training to do women's work in a man's world (1996) Nurse Education Today, 16, pp. 180-188; Mc Givney, V., (1993) Women, Education and Training: Barriers to Access, Informal Starting Points and Progression Routes, , NIACE, Leicester; Millar, B., Wasting women (1990) Nursing Times, 86 (46), p. 21; Morse, J., Field, P., (1996) Nursing Research: The Application of Qualitative approaches. second ed., , Nelson Thormes, Cheltenham; Ofari, R., Age and type of domain specific entry qualifications as predictors of student nurses' performance in biological, social and behavioural sciences in nursing assessments (2000) Nurse Education Today, 20, pp. 298-310; Sandelowski, M., Focus on research methods: whatever happened to qualitative description? (2000) Research in Nursing and Health, 23 (4), pp. 334-340; Steel, R., Lauder, W., Caperchione, C., Anastsi, J., An exploratory study of the concerns of mature access to nursing students and the coping strategies used to manage these adverse experiences (2005) Nurse Education Today, 25, pp. 573-581; Streubert, H., Carpenter, D., (1999) Qualitative Research in Nursing: Advancing the Humanistic Imperative, , Lippincott, Philadelphia; West, L., (1996) Beyond Fragments: Adults, Motivation and Higher Education: A Biographical Analysis, , Taylor and Francis Ltd., London
Uncontrolled Keywords: Gender in nursing; Mature students; Nurse education; Qualitative research; adult; age; article; attitude to health; family relation; female; human; human relation; information processing; Ireland; male; middle aged; nursing education; nursing student; social support; time management; Age Factors; Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate; Family Relations; Focus Groups; Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice; Humans; Intergenerational Relations; Nursing Education Research; Students, Nursing
Depositing User: National Forum
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2015 15:46
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2015 08:23
URI: http://eprints.teachingandlearning.ie/id/eprint/3372

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