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Title: The lived experience of higher education for post-registration Irish nurses : a phenomenological study
Author: Rooney, Kathleen
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2015
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The aim of this study was to explore Irish post-registration nurses’ experiences of higher education nursing programmes in terms of influences on their motives to engage and their participation in such programmes. The study is set against a backdrop of change to the entry level education for nurses in Ireland in 2002. The conceptual framework to inform this study was drawn from the community of practice theory described by Lave and Wenger (1991) and Wenger (1998) which provided a new perspective on the experiences of post-registration nurses’ engagement in higher education. Using a descriptive phenomenological approach, 17 post-registered nurses undertaking two different higher education programmes at one Institute of Technology in the North East of Ireland were interviewed using one-to-one semi-structured interviews. Two focus group interviews were also conducted comprising of nine post-registration nursing students in two Institutes of Technology in the North West and the West of Ireland by way of triangulating the findings. Giorgi’s (1985) framework of data analysis was used to extract the natural meaning units from the data. The findings in this study revealed that post-registration nurses’ motives to engage in higher education included: educational equality, knowledge acquisition, career advancement and morale enhancement. These motives were influenced by attitudes towards higher education for nurses, resources and supports. While the nurses engaged in higher education they experienced two main challenges: lack of time and lack of confidence to do the academic work. The nurses were resourceful in terms of implementing coping strategies to deal with these challenges. These experiences were influenced by practical college and clinical supports. The findings are discussed in light of the cited literature and concepts from the communities of practice theory. The findings in this study have implications for nursing education, practice, policy and research.
Supervisor: Parry, Gareth Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available