The Views of Nursing Students and Staff surrounding Additional Academic/Pastoral Support, Pod Tutorials and Student Success: A Two-Phase Mixed Methods Study




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Unpublished report comissioned by Health Education England



Peer reviewed


Academic difficulties, financial problems, personal and psychological issues can cause various negative outcomes for trainee nurses, which can ultimately result in course failure or dropping out of university (Orton, 2011). This research employed a two-phase sequential quan → QUAL mixed-methods design to examine the barriers surrounding the use of additional support and how access could be improved, the positive/negative aspects of group tutorials as a learning tool were examined and the strengths associated with successful students. Phase 1 involved the collection of survey data from nursing undergraduates using two Likert-type scales and a series of demographic questions. Phase 2 involved a range of data collection methods including focus-groups, qualitative questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. Qualitative data were analysed in NVivo using thematic approach. The research identified a range of views and surrounding the challenges, strengths, perceptions and beliefs in relation to student support, success and group tutorials. The majority of students thought they would benefit from additional support, but relatively high number appeared to be unaware of the support that was available to them. Many students held negative and stigmatising views about additional support, particularly those who were experiencing difficulties. Students with greater awareness of student support options were more likely to perceive themselves as successful in academic areas, in managing their physical and psychological health and in managing their finances. Nursing student also reported high levels of stress and feeling ‘different’ to other students. Students should be better educated about support, what it entails and what it can offer. Greater clarity about support provision from the University and the Trust should be provided. More research should be conducted within HE to examine the effectiveness of interventions to tackle stigma surrounding additional support. It might be fruitful to incorporate strength-building interventions into HE which encourage students to cultivate and use their strengths to enhance their well-being, success and resilience.


This is a research report submitted to Health Education England. It will form the basis of future Journal Articles.


Nursing, Nursing student, Student success, student support, student experience, stigma


Griffin, E., Postance, R., Dowsett, D. and Welyczko, N. (2016) The views of nursing students and staff surrounding additional academic/pastoral support, pod tutorials and student success: A two-phase mixed-methods study. Research report: Health Education England.


Research Institute

Institute of Health, Health Policy and Social Care