Causes and effect of student nurses absenteeism at the KwaZulu-Natal College of Nursing
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INTRODUCTION A four-year diploma nursing programme undertaken by the KwaZulu-Natal College of Nursing provides training to students to become professional nurses. However, it has been noted that absenteeism of student nurses enrolled in this programme has increased. Absenteeism could result in demotion, extension of training or termination of students from the programme. This would result in fewer student nurses completing training and therefore a shortage of professional nurses. AIM OF THE STUDY The aim of the study was to determine the causes and effects of absenteeism amongst student nurses that are currently registered for a four-year diploma programme (R425) in the KwaZulu-Natal College of Nursing (KZNCN). METHODOLOGY A quantitative method was used, which comprised two phases, namely, data collection through the use of a self-administered questionnaire and a retrospective record review. Simple random sampling was used to select students from the peri-urban Midlands and rural uGu districts. Stratified random sampling of 301 student nurses at different levels of training from the three campuses was done. A total of 301 questionnaires were distributed to participants; all were returned, resulting in a 100% response rate. During a retrospective record review student records were examined to assess clinical and theoretical performance of students. Statistical analysis was done using the SPSS version 22.0. RESULTS The results of the study revealed that students experienced problems in the clinical/practical areas that resulted in them absenting themselves. There were 14 terminations of training due to absenteeism. Student nurses who did not absent themselves obtained entry to the examination, whilst students with excessive absenteeism did not obtain entry to the examination.