Nursing Students’ Success: Selection Characteristics


  • Hester C. Rina de Swardt Tshwane University of Technology
  • Zebulon S. Moche Tshwane University of Technology
  • Yolanda Havenga Tshwane University of Technology



interview, nursing students, selection characteristics, success


Higher education institutions (HEIs) are challenged by increased costs, low student success rates, and a changed educational environment. A continuous exploration of possible solutions to these challenges is therefore required. The HEI concerned encountered similar challenges in ensuring nursing students’ success. The purpose of this study was to explore the views of lecturers and senior nursing students regarding selection characteristics and to make recommendations regarding student characteristics. A qualitative, explorative, and descriptive design was used to collect data purposefully from lecturers and students. Five semi-structured interviews were conducted with lecturers and two World Café discussions were held with 19 senior students. Trustworthiness measures and ethical principles were applied. This article aims to share the views of lecturers and senior students on selection characteristics that may enhance the success of students in a nursing programme to inform further research. The findings suggest that personal characteristics such as a caring attitude, resiliency, commitment, and conflict management skills are important.
An acceptable performance at secondary school level and in specific secondary school subjects is suggested. A fair selection process should include an interview and a psychometric test. It is recommended that all candidates be tested for specific personal characteristics for the purpose of risk identification and support, but not as selection criteria. Further research is required to determine the predictive value that these characteristics and the selection process have for academic success.


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Author Biography

Hester C. Rina de Swardt, Tshwane University of Technology

Health Studies (UNISA) or Adelaide Tambo School of Nursing Science (TUT)

Senior Lecturer





How to Cite

de Swardt, Hester C. Rina, Zebulon S. Moche, and Yolanda Havenga. 2021. “Nursing Students’ Success: Selection Characteristics”. Africa Journal of Nursing and Midwifery 23 (1):19 pages.



Received 2020-07-10
Accepted 2021-02-11
Published 2021-05-07