When you look around your lecture halls, have you noticed the number of student nurses shrinking?
I remember my first day sitting in a giant sports hall surrounded by my fellow enthusiastic students. However over the months our numbers seemed to have grown fewer and fewer. Now we fill just half of the same lecture hall.
Obviously I know that the different branches of nursing separate after the first year and a normal rate of attrition is to be expected, but is the quit rate among nursing students higher than other courses? And if so, why?
I think that nursing seems to lose more students than other academic courses. Jonathan Secker, recruitment and communications lead for the faculty of health, social care and education at Anglia Ruskin University, agrees: “Your life is taken over for three years so if you have any external factor come into play (pregnancy, family bereavement, partner job loss) then this seriously conflicts with whether you can complete the course.”
So it is clear that nursing students are under a lot of pressure. Jonathan adds that “people drop out due to the reality of placement and it not being what they expected.”
While there may be unique stresses to the nursing student I may not be seeing the entire picture. From my perspective it may seem that my colleagues are just disappearing but there could be other reasons. A number of them may have been put back by six months for a number of reasons or some may have taken a year or two out from their studies to rejoin at a later date.
What do you think? Have you noticed your class getting any smaller? Why do you think that is?