Experiences of Postgraduate Nursing Students at the University of Namibia
While the number of students who choose to enrol in various postgraduate academic programmes continues to increase, the number of postgraduate students who graduate each year remains low. This requires institutions of higher learning to establish which factors and study modes are likely to promote an environment that is conducive to learning for postgraduate students. The experiences of postgraduate students can be used to promote a positive learning environment for postgraduate students. The objective of this study was to explore and describe the experiences of postgraduate nursing students enrolled in postgraduate nursing diploma coursework and research at the University of Namibia with a view to describe what aspects affect their learning. An exploratory, descriptive and qualitative design was used. The study was contextual in nature. A sample of seven students participated in the study. Purposive sampling was used. Data were collected from semi-structured interviews conducted with seven postgraduate diploma nursing students. The data were analysed through qualitative content analysis. The following four themes were identified: individual experiences, academic factors, institutional factors, and suggested improvement measures which included an improved research approval process and institutional support system to enhance postgraduate studies. The findings of this study highlighted the need for well-articulated actions to deal with the negative challenges identified in the study by offering more academic support to the students during their research proposals and research project writing.