Prerequisites Included in Selection Criteria: A Contribution to Student Success in Nursing
Keywords:language proficiency, life sciences, prerequisites
The low throughput rates of basic nursing students could be indirectly associated with the shortage of nurses in the nursing profession. Various factors could be related to the poor academic performance in tertiary education, with specific reference to nursing students. One of these factors is the selection and recruitment requirements for entry into nursing programmes. The objective of this article is to share the results of a study that was conducted in South Africa to describe whether background knowledge of grade 12 Life Sciences and English Language Proficiency influenced the academic performance in the Biological and Natural Science module of first-year student nurses. A quantitative research study was conducted. Baseline data were gathered by means of a checklist to collect data from first-year student admission records (193), and questionnaires to collect data from second-year students (147). The data demonstrated a positive association between the academic achievement of the Biological and Natural Sciences module and background knowledge of grade 12 Life Sciences and between the academic achievement of the Biological and Natural Sciences module and grade 12 English Language Proficiency. Students, but especially students who comply with specific prerequisites, thus a pass mark of grade 12 Life Sciences and evidence of adequate grade 12 English Language Proficiency, must be recruited to enhance the throughput rates of nursing students to help reduce the nursing shortage.