Publication Date

2013

Abstract

Indigenous nurses have the potential to improve access to health services for Indigenous people by ensuring that services are culturally safe and respectful of Indigenous peoples’ needs. Therefore, developing a well-educated Indigenous nursing workforce is one way to improve the poor health outcomes of Indigenous Australians. A mixed methods study was undertaken to determine the current rates of enrollment, progression and completion of Indigenous nursing students in Australia and to explore student and staff perceptions of barriers to completion and strategies for success. The results indicate that the national average completion rates are 36.3% for Indigenous nursing students and 64.6% for non-Indigenous nursing students – an average difference of 28.3%. Indigenous nursing students and academics identified barriers to completion, which were similar to those identified in previous research. Success strategies, however, revealed the importance of individual student characteristics; academics’ knowledge, awareness, and understanding; relationships, connections, and partnerships; institutional structures, systems, and processes; and, family and community knowledge, awareness, and understanding. This paper offers an overview of the integration and interpretation process that makes up the final phase of a mixed methods study.

Document Type

Journal Article

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