Nursing school can be challenging for undergraduate students, largely because they do not know what to expect in terms of the demands of the rigorous academic program. Students who enter the program with unrealistic expectations of the demands, such as underestimated time needed for studying for exams or preparing for clinical and class time, as well as the emotional toll of time away from family and friends are often challenged with being adequately prepared for the day-to-day experience of nursing school. Once students have been in the program a few semesters, they begin to get the flow of the expectation as well as an understanding of how to manage their time. Unfortunately, if their adjustment period is not quick enough, they can academically or voluntarily withdraw due to the pressures of the demanding curriculum. In order to combat this phenomenon and give students a perspective that can assist them in their adjustment period, a Student Navigator Program (SNP) was implemented at a local community college. Data was collected from experimental and control groups using a mixed methods research design - comparing final grade percentage, performance on a standardized exam, and use of support services. The quantitative data suggest there is no statistical significance in participation in the SNP with the exception of a few select cohorts. The qualitative data suggest the SNP program is helpful at the beginning of the first semester of nursing school. Taken together, the data suggest the SNP can be helpful in the beginning of the semester for willing participants to assist with managing the unknown. Data from this study guides nursing programs as they aim to retain current nursing students through the first semester and progress through the program.
- Student Navigator Program: Retention of First Semester Nursing Students
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