Doctoral Researcher Finds Academic Monitoring and Support Essential in Nursing Education
Academic Monitoring and Support (AMS) significantly contributes towards successful throughput in nursing, a study conducted by UKZN PhD graduate, Dr Prenola Mudaly, has revealed.
Titled: “A Classical Ethnographic Study on Academic Monitoring and Support Services of Undergraduate Nursing Students in Higher Education in KwaZulu-Natal”, the study analysed the implementation of AMS in an undergraduate programme to generate a comprehensive, context-informed AMS middle-range theory.
‘I analysed the whole process of supporting students; from the pre-enrolment phase, to integration phase, engagement phase up to transition phase where students are prepared for the world of work at fourth year,’ said Mudaly.
‘My interest in the topic was triggered by the transformation that is taking place in the country where opportunities are created for all students who meet entry requirements to have access to tertiary institutions irrespective of their backgrounds.’
Mudaly’s study culminated in a student support model that might be adapted or adopted by other nursing education institutions to ensure that students are well supported to reduce high attrition rates that influence projected numbers of graduating nurses to feed into the healthcare system.
The study revealed the importance of monitoring the academic performance of the students as early as possible in the programme and related factors that might affect the student’s academic performance.
It also revealed that structured academic monitoring and support focuses more on learning that takes place within the University.
‘With nursing having a strong clinical/practical component which the students have to pass, the Nursing Discipline needs to invest some resources to ensure that there is structured peer mentorship in the clinical settings, with senior students mentoring the junior students,’ she said.
Mudaly plans to publish more articles from her thesis. She has published two in peer-reviewed journals and the third draft is ready for submission.
After completing her Bachelor of Nursing degree in 2003, she never stopped studying. ‘My wildest dream has become a reality, thanks to this culture of working hard and striving to influence change in society. I am the first PhD graduate from my BN Group.’
Mudaly’s family is proud of her achievements.