Attrition From Higher Education Institution

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Attrition from Higher Education Institution (HEI) programmes is worryingly on the increase (Russell Group 2010). However, students that drop out of pre-registration nursing programmes are of particular concern, not only to the HEI but the Government and the NHS also due to the requirement to meet the needs of the NHS recruitment and demands of an increasingly ageing society that relies on qualified nurses (DOH 2007). Indeed the type of funding that student nurses receive and the amount of money that is invested by Strategic Health Authorities (SHA) and Government in them suggests that attrition is a costly problem (DOH 2009).

It is difficult to gather specific statistical data regarding attrition rates as
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A more recent report produced by the Department of Health states that the attrition rate from pre-registration nursing programmes stands at 16% (DOH 2010). This statistic differs greatly from the national average of 27% reported direct to the RCN by the HEIs. The United Kingdom figures do generally appear favourable however compared to countries such as Italy (65%) and the USA (37%) (International Audit office, 2007).

Statistics produced by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (2011) highlight that the percentage drop out rate for students on all types of Degree level programmes is relatively low at approximately 10% whereas for those studying the Diploma level programme the drop out rate increases to 17%. Therefore the statistics identified for attrition from pre-registration nursing programmes are higher that the average attrition rate of all other Degree and Diploma programmes.

A higher completion rate among pre-registration nurses will enhance the NHS workforce of qualified nurses and will help towards the Department of Health Our Health, Our Care, Our Say (DOH 2006a) goal to ensure individual excellence of care for all. Higher retention of students would also aide the HEIs involved in the education of pre-registration nursing as SHA and Government targets will be met and financial penalties
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