Nowadays nursing is considered one of the most rewarding health care professionals. In fact, nurses play a vital role in promoting the people’s health. This can be done by delivery high quality of care for the patients, preventing diseases, and educating the public. Nurses may have the opportunity to work in different health care settings such as hospitals, clinics, health communities, schools, prisons, and other environments (Kemppainen, Tossavainen, & Turunen, 2013). However, nursing also is a challenging profession in which nurses work under high pressure as part of their daily work. As well, shortage in nursing staff can be an obstacle for the growing of this profession. Consequently, nursing educational programs should be improved to attract, retain, and increase joining of students in the field (Allen, 2008). One of the colleges that provides programs and courses about Bachelor of Science in Nursing is Fatima College of Health Sciences. This college has been established in 2006 in Al Ain, UAE, and it aims to teach the students the required knowledge and skills to become healthcare professionals (Fatima College of Health Sciences, 2011). However, many students who decide to study nursing and chose it as their future career may face difficulties due to their poor knowledge about this specialty. This happens usually because of parents’ decision or the desire to be with friends (Tan-Kuick & Keith, 2010).
The target of this report is to find out the level of knowledge that slow English track and fast track students of Fatima College of Health Sciences ‘FCHS’ have about nursing. This study aims to discuss the results of two issues which are the area of study and job responsibilities related to nursing. As well, it provides recommendations and guidelines to improve the students’ awareness about nursing.
The report covers two issues which are area of study and job responsibilities related to nursing. However, other aspects such are job opportunities were not involved in the report.
2- Method of investigation
The data of this report was collected through a survey distributed randomly to 30 students of common year section at FCHS in Al Ain city. The study participants included 15 students from slow English track and 15 students from fast track in order to explore the level of knowledge that they have about nursing. Those students were different in ages, educational stream, and nationalities. However, the report just focused on comparing students’ level of knowledge about nursing between the two sections of the common year. The survey discussed two parts of nursing which are areas of study and job responsibilities. Each of them includes 6 and 4 questions respectively. All the respondents who asked to participate in the study agreed to do and it given for them 15 minutes to complete the questionnaire.
3- Findings and Discussion:
3.1 Area of Study:
According to the questionnaires that have been distributed to the participants, approximately 67 % of fast track students know about the total years of studying nursing while the average of slow English track students was decreased slightly recording 53%. Referring to figure 1, it seems that slow English track students have more awareness than the fast track ones regarding the starting year for training in hospitals accounting 46% and 26% respectively. This is supported by FCHS (2011) which decided that Bachelor of Science in Nursing required 4 years of studying in which theoretical and clinical courses are studied. Besides, clinical practice is usually started in the second year, so students will be able to practice their knowledge related to diseases and nursing management. The question that is related to nursing courses has 2 correct answers. The average of the correct results in both sections was nearly the same. This suggests that the students in both sections have relatively the middle knowledge about this subject. Furthermore, most students in both sections chose being an active member of the health care team as a reason of choosing nursing. In details, the answer has chosen in Fast track students more than slow English track students recording 93% and 74% respectively. Moreover, both sections agree on the importance of laboratory classes and clinical courses for nursing student, so they have a high knowledge in this part.
3.2 Job Responsibilities:
According to figure 2, the total average in both sections is the same in knowing the nurses responsibilities. In details, most slow English track students chose cleaning the patient room as one of the nurse responsibilities while the majority of Fast track students chose monitoring vital signs. In addition, both sections have nearly the same idea of the difficulties in nursing career in which they choose excess number of hours per shift and dealing with patients. The study results show that 53% of slow English track students agree that the nurse should be committed to the time requirement for giving medication. This percentage is very weak comparing with fast track students who accounted 80%. Moreover, the results demonstrate that only 47% of slow English track students agree on working in shifts while fast track students reached 53%. This indicates that both sections didn’t accept the idea of challenges in nursing career. One research conducted by Chapman (2011) shows that few students were able to identify the main responsibilities of nurses and differentiate between the levels of nursing profession. Those students were aware about caring and helping function of nursing but they have insufficient knowledge about the extended roles and opportunities for development. Although the study’s participants stated their plan to become registered nurses in the future, they showed low confidence in their ability to succeed in this profession.
In summary, the overall findings of this study showed that common year students at FCHS have middle knowledge about nursing course and profession. However, fast track students demonstrated more level of awareness about this issue than slow English track.Therefore, many researchers including Bednarz, Schim, & Doorenbos (2010) recommended the students to do a comprehensive research and have a sufficient knowledge about the desired course before joining in to avoid any risk may happen through choosing unsuitable course. Additionally, campaigns and media should be designed to increase the community awareness of nursing as a profession and to attract more students to join school of nursing. Besides, high schools should take their students to universities and present for them all the information that required about this profession. Finally, orientations and training programs must be added in nursing colleges.