Learning preferences of enrolled nursing students: a qualitative study

2017-02-16T03:55:47Z (GMT) by Raghunathan, Kalpana
In Australia there are two entry levels in nursing, Registered Nurse (RN) and Enrolled Nurse (EN). Whilst much of the focus of nursing education research is attentive to RN and postgraduate nursing students (higher education), the educational preferences of EN students has not been recognised or identified previously. EN students in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) setting as learners have unique educational needs. As learners, EN students are diverse in terms of learner characteristics and background. Despite these important considerations there does not appear to be the targeted attention in educational learning methodology to support learner preferences in the planning and delivery of nursing education for EN students. This research identifies specific learner preferences for teaching modalities among EN students in the Diploma of Nursing program. A qualitative research methodology using an explorative descriptive approach in the naturalistic setting has been adopted for this study. The study was set in a private Registered Training Organisation (RTO). Data was collected through focus group discussions with data analysis involving a thematic framework. Five main themes were identified through the thematic analysis; variety of teaching and assessment methods, educator directed or guided learning, practical application and simulated learning, face to face learning and closer integration of theory to clinical practicum. This research recognises specific learning needs of EN students from the learner's perspective. The knowledge generated from this study will help guide future planning strategies in teaching and learning education for the Diploma of Nursing (EN) program.