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Undergraduate nursing students' perceptions of the graduate application process: A qualitative exploration

Beggs, RL, Sidwell, D ORCID: 0000-0002-6959-7154, Rattray, ME, Neville, GE and Zimmerman, P-AP 2022 , 'Undergraduate nursing students' perceptions of the graduate application process: A qualitative exploration' , Collegian, vol. 29, no. 2 , pp. 213-219 , doi:

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Background:Nursing students perceptions and preparedness can impact their ability and motivation to engage with graduate program application processes. Aim: The purpose of this study was to explore nursing students perceptions about their preparedness/work readiness for the graduate process and to identify barriers and enablers which may inform education processes.Methods:Semi-structured interviews, underpinned by the Theory of Planned Behaviour, were undertaken with third-year students enrolled in a Bachelor of Nursing course in 2018. Data was recorded and transcribed before inductive thematic analysis was performed.Findings:Three themes were found to impact student perceptions of and preparedness for the graduate program: (i) Standing out from the crowd, (ii) Preparedness for the application process, and (iii) Applying; considering strategic, desirable and personal factors.Discussion:Student perceptions were primarily affected by the self-evaluation of their ability to stand out in a competitive graduate environment. Student preparedness appears as a deficit as they have not considered what an employer wants from potential employees.Conclusion:The findings have implications for students, higher education providers, and employers, begging the question, who is responsible for students being prepared for the graduate recruitment process?

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Beggs, RL and Sidwell, D and Rattray, ME and Neville, GE and Zimmerman, P-AP
Keywords: nurse graduates, employability, work-readiness, graduate, nursing student, preparedness
Journal or Publication Title: Collegian
Publisher: Elsevier BV
ISSN: 1322-7696
DOI / ID Number:
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2021 Australian College of Nursing Ltd.

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