Undergraduate Nursing Students’ Challenges when Writing Research Proposals at the University of Namibia
Keywords:challenges, experiences, undergraduate nursing students, research proposals, students, research, University of Namibia
Research topic selection and problem formulation are prerequisites when preparing a proposal for conducting research. However, nursing students find this a daunting task when doing it for the first time, despite the research methodology module that introduces nursing students to research. Institutions of higher learning should, therefore, establish the challenges that undergraduate nursing students face when writing their research proposals to develop strategies in order to mitigate these challenges. In Namibia, students’ challenges when writing research proposals have not been extensively researched. This study aimed to explore and describe undergraduate nursing students’ challenges when writing research proposals at the University of Namibia (UNAM), with a view to describing the factors that affect this. Accordingly, a qualitative, explorative, descriptive and contextual design was applied and purposive sampling was used to select 20 undergraduate nursing students enrolled for the Bachelor of Nursing Science (Clinical) (Honours) at UNAM. Individual interviews were conducted, using semi-structured interviews in line with an interview guide. Data were analysed by means of qualitative thematic analysis, which identified the following themes: challenging experiences when writing the research proposal; influence of the supervisor; and recommendations for improvement. The findings of this study call for well-articulated plans and actions from the lecturers and supervisors involved to address the challenges highlighted in this study, as well as actions and plans that should inform the curriculum. A need was identified for a strong focus on library information literacy and English for academic writing to be taught simultaneously with the writing of research proposals from the third year.
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