Students’ perceptions of student support services at a selected nursing campus in the EThekwini District.
Ndlela, Nokuthula Nkosingiphile Tholumusa.
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Introduction The students are the heart of any Higher Education Institution (HEI) and many students come into Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) underprepared for the activities and challenges of tertiary institutions. As a result, they may underperform and sometimes exit the institution without completing the course. Purpose The purpose of the study was to describe students’ perceptions of student support services at a selected nursing campus in the EThekwini District. Research approach A qualitative content analysis approach guided the research and the study was conducted at one nursing campus in the EThekwini District. Non-probability purposive sampling was used to recruit fourth-year nursing students undertaking the R425 programme, who were individually interviewed. The inclusion criteria were that participants should be R425 fourth-year nursing students, had to have made use of the support services offered on the campus (e.g. orientation programme, mentoring programme, academic support and financial support) and had to participate in the study voluntarily. No new data was uncovered after interviewing eight (8) participants. Findings The students’ perceptions of student support services revealed four categories, namely: diversity of student support; relevance of feedback; peer mentoring and applicability of nonacademic support. From these categories a further eleven sub-categories emerged as follows: students’ orientation: accessible teachers and remediation: library services: availability of LRC: clinical support: information, unlimited support and student empowerment: lack of guidance: unkind mentors: sports and stress reduction: psychological support and stress reduction: and importance of financial support. Recommendations The study recommends further research into student support services in all KZNCN campuses and sub-campuses, and the development of a mentoring policy at the research site.