The health status of Māori nursing students : a cross-sectional survey : a thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Philosophy in Nursing at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand
In New Zealand Maori are less likely to engage in tertiary level education and less likely to complete a tertiary level qualification than non Maori. These issues of recruitment and retention are reflected in other areas for Maori such as health, where Maori have worse levels of health Maori are more likely to have lower socioeconomic status. The initial findings of recent research indicate that Maori nursing students find it a struggle to remain on the Bachelor of Health Science in nursing degree programme. This study is designed to explore further what might be occurring for Maori nursing students by obtaining a snapshot of their health.
Aim: To describe the health status of Maori nursing students.
Participants: 75 nursing students undertaking nursing degree programmes in New Zealand, who identified as Maori.
Method: A cross-sectional survey was undertaken with Maori nursing students completing nursing degrees from thirteen of sixteen tertiary institutions in New Zealand.
Instrument: A questionnaire comprising demographic data, SF-36, and two cultural questions was used for students to self assess their health status. Participants were also invited to write relevant comments on the survey.
Findings: Descriptive statistical data revealed participants with a stronger cultural identity as Maori were more likely to have their cultural needs met whilst studying compared to participants with a weaker Maori cultural identity. Participants in a relationship had more income than those who were not in a relationship. Participants’ overall health was worse than one year prior and their physical health was better than their mental health. More specifically, for physical health, general health, tiredness and lack of vitality were most affected, while roles and relationships were most affected for mental health.
Implications: Institutions providing cultural support and kaupapa Maori programmes may assist in improving the recruitment and retention of Maori in nursing programmes. These results revealed a snapshot picture of the health 3
status of Maori nursing students and identified issues around their health status which is consistent with the literature.