Home > Issue 1 ( Volume 3 ) > From School to University: A Case Study of Nursing Students


Background: The successful transition from school to university plays a decisive role in academic success and through-put rates.The highest drop out in the nursing courses takes place in the first academic year and mostly in the first six months. If higher education institutions want to improve their retention rates, intensive interventions are necessary at the earliest possible phase, not only to identify potential students at risk, but to also prepare prospective students for higher education.

Objective: This study is part of a research programme at the University of Genoa aimed at reducing student nurse discontinuation.The root hypothesis is to consider dropouts as a multi-factorial phenomenon due to the interlacement of many factors, like students’ motivations to in this professional choice and their perception of the job, individual well-being and self-esteem, teacher and friends relationship in the new contexts, family socio-cultural level, academic achievement, courses organization, impact with training and environmental problems.The goal is to identify which of these factors is more causative of dropouts.

Participants: 391 students, 20 trainingtutors.

Methods: The method adopted was a quali-quantitative one. The information was collected from three sources: record held on the University data base, a specific questionnaire to nurse students and interviews to training tutors in order to understand their point of view about the phenomenon.

Results: The results show a significant relationship among well-being, self-esteem, university climate perception, motivation of choose and academic achievement.

Conclusions: This results allow to identify specific measures to prevent, suppor t and reduce the dropouts, like promote an entering students information service;create an effective liaison between schools and universities; facilitate interactions among students.

Keywords: guidance, nursing course, transition, university climate, university dropping-out, well-being

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