Nursing Student Retention: The Impact of Focused Seminars, Simplified Tutorials and Cultivated Relationships

Monday, 18 November 2013: 10:40 AM

Ellen Fineout-Overholt, PhD, RN, FNAP, FAAN
Nursing, East Texas Baptist University, Marshall, TX

Learning Objective 1: discuss how to's of conducting personal and spiritual development focused seminars with pre-professional and professional nursing students.

Learning Objective 2: describe the impact of developing a personal growth-related relationship with pre-professional students.

BACKGROUND: Often students entering nursing programs or completing pre-requisites are ill-prepared for the intensity of university study.  When working with these students in class, in conversation and observing their study engagement, they seem to believe they are approaching their learning with reasonable rigor; however, grades do not reflect their perceived rigor and gaps in appropriate content and methods of communication with faculty and community partners have been identified. Building awareness, knowledge and skills were considered essential to assisting these future nurse leaders to bring their best “selves” to the care of their patients. PROJECT AIMS: The project was designed to prepare mindful and engaged, life-long learners who are articulate communicators that can lead the future of nursing. METHODS: In each NURS course for freshman through seniors, faculty taught three 1-hour, fully interactive seminars that were focused on spiritual and personal development.  Examples included, how to: 1) construct an argument, 2) live intentional lives and 3) mindful engagement.  Mentored tutorials also were offered weekly with parameters identified for those who needed to attend. OUTCOMES: Data were collected by electronic survey at pre, mid & post project. Grades were monitored. Further impact of the seminars and tutorials were obtained through focus groups. Data demonstrate an increasing value and impact of personal and spiritual development, including an expectation of this kind of development across the curriculum.