Anam Hakim Tejani
Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan
Anam Hakim Tejani is currently working as a Clinical Nurse Instructor at Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, The Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan
In today’s world, Higher education plays a vital role in the progress of individuals as it assists in the advancement of knowledge and serves as a ladder in the career progression. Besides, it plays an important role in a country's economic development from the generation of new information, research and innovations. Similarly, in nursing profession there is an utmost need of highly qualified work force with updated knowledge, advanced medical and technical skills and research information for the application of evidenced based practice. According to population pyramid, it is estimated that by 2020, there would be growing number of older population and health care systems would be striving to deal with the aging related health issues and non- communicable diseases. But, restricted education and lack of knowledge among nurses may result in errors that put the patients’ health and life in danger. Therefore, rationalized information is crucial for the prevention of errors and for providing high quality care. This study is aimed to explore the factors and details of the challenges that are being encountered by the undergraduate nurses while enrolling in Master’s Program. Also, to identify the alternate ways to assist them in overcoming the underline challenges.
The qualitative descriptive exploratory design was used. Purposive sampling was done and data was collected through IDIs. IDIs were conducted with 5 Bachelors in Science and Nursing (BScN) Graduate Nurses, 5 Post RN-BScN Year II students and 5 Masters in Science and Nursing (MScN) students involving three, MScN Year I students and two, MScN Final Year students. The participants belonged to different age groups and have completed their Nursing diploma or undergraduate degree from different institutions at Government and Private Sectors. Before the interview, participants were explained about the project purpose and consent forms were signed by the participants. The interviews were recorded after taking permission from each of the participant which was later utilized for preparing the transcript. The participants were also requested to fill the tool for evidence purpose.
Some of the major barriers towards decrease nurses enrollment in graduate program have appeared at personal, professional and at the educational levels. The data was analyzed by making categories which were classified in main themes. It was identified that most of the participants were facing difficulty to manage time, some had had family responsibilities while, many of the students verbalized that it was difficult for them to get themselves prepared for the admission test as they were in ambiguity while preparing for their admission test and they found English section quite difficult. Whereas, some of the undergraduate nurses lack research knowledge which is the key component of Master’s Program. Additionally, least exposure to evidenced based practice was also one the factor which was resisting them to get enrolled for Higher Education because, it was difficult for them to solve scenario based questions requiring integration of clinical experience. During analysis, it was also found that, there is no proper implementation of curriculum at undergraduate level as some of the course objectives were not met and there were limited teaching learning methodologies. Also, there was restricted advanced preparation for higher education as they were being taught about the basic concepts only.
Despite all challenges and knowledge gaps, undergraduate nurses of Pakistan are striving hard to get graduate studies. Now it is the time to improve the quality of nursing care and motivate them through career-oriented higher education which needs financial investment, job security, further capacity building and backup support in the field. Review of undergraduate nursing education curriculum by Sindh Nurses Education Board is also in need to address the knowledge gap of undergraduate nurses and to upgrade the education level of Nursing Institutes as, nurses play an integral role in patient’s care and Organizational upliftment.