Factors contributing to success in anatomy and physiology in first year students in the KZNCN nursing programme
Langtree, Eleanor Margaret
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Introduction: There is a global shortage of nurses, particularly in South Africa where there is a scarce resource of professional nurses. Since KwaZulu1Natal College of Nursing (KZNCN) is tasked with the responsibility of training 86% of professional nurses in the province, it is unfortunate to lose 22% of these students through failure and attrition. Most of these failures are in the subject of Anatomy and Physiology. Aim of study: The aim of the study was to establish factors that impact on the success in Anatomy and Physiology in first year student nurses affiliated to KZNCN, in a South African context. Methodology: A quantitative descriptive survey research design was used to establish relationships between variables that impact on nursing students’ success in Anatomy and Physiology. Results: The majority of respondents were Black (86.7%) from rural areas (6.3%) of KwaZulu1Natal. Their nurse training was in English as a second language (78.6%) but most respondents felt that they were coping well with being taught in English (p 0.00). However, respondents with English as a first language obtained significantly higher marks in Anatomy and Physiology I (p = 0.003) and there was a good correlation between matriculation English and Anatomy and Physiology II results (p = 0.02). There was also a good correlation between matriculation Biology/Life Science mark and Anatomy and Physiology I marks (p < 0.00). Additionally, good performance in Anatomy and Physiology I was a good indicator for success in Anatomy and Physiology II (p < 0.00). A significant number of respondents found the academic workload, financial stressors and long working hours stressful but engaged in positive coping skills to address these. Conclusion: Prior knowledge in English and Biology/Life Sciences has a significant positive impact on student performance in Anatomy and Physiology.