Enrolled nurse transition to degree level study based at a rural satellite campus : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Nursing at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand
The demise of enrolled nurse training programmes and the disestablishment of enrolled nurse positions in many health care areas in New Zealand in the 1990s, hastened the development of transition programmes that enabled these nurses to undertake shortened courses leading to registration. The polytechnic was approached by health care providers from rural settings to deliver a programme offering transition to degree/registration for enrolled nurses who were not able to meet the time and travel commitments of a course based at the main campus. In 1998, a special two year six month transition to degree/registration programme based at the satellite campus of the polytechnic was offered to enrolled nurses. In recognition of the requirements of these nurses with family and work commitments, the course was developed to enable them to continue working while studying, as well as finding appropriate clinical placements/learning activities as near as possible to their home environment. An exploratory, descriptive, qualitative research study utilising focus group interviews was undertaken to examine the factors that assisted or hindered these enrolled nurses in their transition to degree level study. Ten mature age female students and six female teachers were the participants. Two major categories emerged from constant comparative analysis of the data. One category entitled relearning how to learn, demonstrated the cognitive and behavioural adaptations the students made throughout the transition. The other major category - barriers and catapults, demonstrated the external forces that influenced the students' transition.