Wednesday, 19 July 2006
This presentation is part of : Techniques for Nursing Education
Nursing Education Best Practice Strategies for Student Success: A Statewide Survey
Patricia A. Waltman, RN, EdD, CNNP, University of Mississippi School of Nursing, Jackson, MS, USA and Kim Hoover, PhD, RN, School of Nursing, University of Mississippi, Jackson, MS, USA.
Learning Objective #1: Describe best practice strategies for nursing student retention and success from pre-entry into the nursing program to program completion.
Learning Objective #2: Compare similarities and differences in best practice strategies identified by nursing faculty with those identified by graduating nursing students.

High student attrition from nursing programs contributes to the national nursing shortage. The Mississippi Office of Nursing Workforce initiated the Nursing Education Barriers Study to identify common barriers to nursing education and devise replicable strategies for increasing student retention. One goal of Phase III  was to identify best practice strategies for student retention and success.
With assistance from the Council of Dean and Directors of Schools of Nursing a survey was distributed to faculty in state associate and baccalaureate degree programs. Faculty were surveyed to identify best practice strategies and resources for student success (return rate 30%). 136 strategies were identified and subsequently categorized under broad headings: Pre-entry, Program Orientation, Advisement, Study Skills, Test Taking Skills, Remediation, Clinical Skill Development, Evaluation, NCLEX Preparation, Faculty and  Learning Environment.  
To determine congruence of student identified success strategies with faculty identified strategies, a student survey tool was developed based on results of the faculty survey, distributed to all Mississippi nursing programs, and administered to associate and baccalaureate students in their last semester. Student response rate was 36% (n=547). Data on student demographics, educational background, academic difficulty areas, and best practice strategies for success were analyzed.
Student and faculty responses were compared with interesting differences. Faculty identified Advisement and Study Skill strategies as best practices while students identified Faculty and Learning Environment as most significant to success. Positive faculty attributes identified by students were professional role modeling, teaching expertise, caring behaviors, commitment, and accessibility. Students ranked multiple means of communication as essential in the learning environment.  
 While recruitment of students into the nursing profession is important, nursing faculty should remain committed to recognizing and implementing strategies to assist current students. Utilization of common best practice strategies, such as described in this study, can lead to enhanced student success and increase in the nursing workforce.   

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