West, R., Usher, K., Foster, K. N & Stewart, L. (2014). Academic staff perceptions of factors underlying program completion by Australian Indigenous nursing students. The Qualitative Report,19(12), R. J. Chenail. 1-19. Australia: Nova Southeastern University.
An increase in the number of Indigenous health professionals is one way to help reduce the poor health outcomes of Australia's Indigenous people. However, while Indigenous students are enrolling in Australian tertiary undergraduate nursing courses in increasing numbers, their completion rates remain lower than non-Indigenous students and many barriers hinder course completion. This critical interpretive qualitative study explores academic staff perceptions of factors enabling successful course completions by Indigenous nursing students from universities in Queensland, Australia. Content analysis of data revealed five themes: (a) Individual student characteristics; (b) Institutional structures, systems, and processes; (c) Relationships, connections, and partnerships; (d) Family and community knowledge, awareness, and understanding; and (e) Academics' knowledge, awareness, and understanding. To increase the number of Indigenous nurses, strategies such as appointing Indigenous nursing academics; partnerships between nursing schools and Indigenous Education Support Units, and the implementation of tailored cross-cultural awareness programs for nurse academics are proposed.
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