SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.35 número1Knowledge and use of modern family planning methods by rural women in Zambia índice de autoresíndice de assuntospesquisa de artigos
Home Pagelista alfabética de periódicos  

Serviços Personalizados



Links relacionados

  • Em processo de indexaçãoCitado por Google
  • Em processo de indexaçãoSimilares em Google



versão On-line ISSN 2223-6279
versão impressa ISSN 0379-8577

Curationis vol.35 no.1 Pretoria Jan. 2012




Cyclic efforts to improve completion rates of Masters' degree students in nursing



Lizeth RoetsI; Yvonne BotmaII

IDepartment of Health Studies, University of South Africa, South Africa
IISchool of Nursing, University of Free State, South Africa





Supervisors at Higher Education Institutions are challenged to shorten throughput of Master's degree students in nursing as researchers are needed to improve the art and science of the nursing profession. Globally the completion time for a postgraduate degree in the health sciences varies between 4.7 and 5.5 years. The purpose of the study was to describe strategies that were implemented to shorten completion time and attrition rate of postgraduate students. A cyclic technical, scientific collaborative mode within an action research methodology was used to identify factors impeding completion time in this study. Contrary to other studies, supervision was not an inhibiting factor in this study. Physical, technical, academic and financial aspects were identified by postgraduate students through questionnaires and informal discussion groups with supervisors as well as progress reports. Strategies were implemented to address these. Following implementation of all strategies, 42% of the postgraduate students in the School of Nursing completed their Master's degree within two years. This implies a 34% improvement. Although the completion rate improved it was still unsatisfactory and new challenges were identified during the second cycle, for example, the number of inexperienced supervisors increased and they needed mentoring. Speed mentoring is a possible solution to the problem.



“Full text available only in PDF format”




Bartelse, J., Beerkens, H.J.J.G. & Maassen, P.A.M., 2000, Graduate education in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom, National Science Foundation, Arlington.         [ Links ]

Berg, B.L., 2004, Qualitative Research Methods for the Social Sciences, Pearson, Boston.         [ Links ]

Bitzer, E., 2000, 'Shaping and sizing: Proposed transformations of the higher education landscape in South Africa', in Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, viewed 03 March 2012, from        [ Links ]

Botma, Y., Greef, M., Mulaudzi, F.M. & Wright, S.C.D., 2010, Research in health sciences, Heineman, Cape Town. PMid: 20733131        [ Links ]

Byrne, M.W. & Keefe, M., 2002, 'Building Research Competence in Nursing Through Mentoring', Journal of Nursing Scholarship 34(4), 391-396., PMid: 12501744        [ Links ]

Cook, D.A., Bahn, R.S. & Menaker, R., 2010, 'Speed mentoring: An innovative method to facilitate mentoring relationships', Medical teacher 32, 692-694., PMid: 20662583        [ Links ]

Drennan, J., 2008, 'Professional and academic destination of masters in nursing graduates: A national survey', Nurse Education Today 28, 751-759., PMid: 18242790        [ Links ]

Eby, L. & Lockwood, A., 2005, 'Proteges' and mentors' reactions to participating in formal mentoring programs: A qualitative investigation', Journal of Vocational Behavior 67, 441-458.        [ Links ]

Goeppinger, J., Miles, M.S., Weaver, V., Campbell, L. & Roland, E.J., 2009, 'Buidling nursiing research capacity to address health disparaties: Engaging minorities baccalaureate and master's students', Nursing Outlook 57(3), 158-165., PMid: 19447236        [ Links ]

Green, J. & Thorogood, N., 2009, Qualitative methods for health research, Sage, London.         [ Links ]

Grove, S.K., Burns, N. & Gray, J.R., 2013, The Practice of Nursing Research: Appraisal, Synthesis and Generation of Evidence, Elsevier, Missouri.         [ Links ]

Hale, R., 2000, 'To match or mis-match? The dynamics of mentoring as a route to personal and organisational learing', Career Development International 5(4), 223234.        [ Links ]

Hall, F., 2005, Ph.D completion project featured at the 45th CGS annual meeting, in Council of Graduate School, viewed 07 December 2010, from        [ Links ]

Higgins, M.C. & Kram, K.E., 2001, 'Reconceptualising mentoring at work: A developmental network perspective', Academy of Management 26, (2), 264-288.         [ Links ]

Hofstee, E., 2010, Research culture School of Nursing, Bloemfontein, PMCid: 3231173        [ Links ]

Jackson, V.A., Palepu, A., Szalacha, L., Caswell, C., Carr, P.L. & Inui, T., 2003, 'Having the right chemistry': A qualitative study of mentoring in Academic medicine', Academic Medicine 78(3), 327-334.        [ Links ]

Kitson, A., 2006, 'The relevance of scholarship for nursing research and practice', Journal of Advanced Nursing (36), 541-543.,PMid: 16907783        [ Links ]

Kyvik, S. & Tvede, O., 1998 'The Doctorate in the Nordic Countries', Comparative Education 34(1), 9-25.        [ Links ]

Maree, K., Creswell, J.W., Ebersohn, L., Eloff, I., Ferreira, R., Ivankova, N.V. & Jansen, J.D., et al., 2007, First steps in research, Van Schaik, Pretoria.         [ Links ]

Martin, Y.M., Machlachan, M. & Karmel, T., 1999, Postgraduate completion rates, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra.         [ Links ]

McCulloch, A., 2007, 'Improving Ph.D completion rates', in suite 101, viewed 01 December 2007, from        [ Links ]

McCulloch, A. & Thomas, L., 2012, Widening participation to doctoral education and research degrees: A research agenda for an emerging policy issue, Higher Education Research & Development, DOI:10.1080/07294360.2012.662630, viewed 01 October 2012, from,        [ Links ]

Melrose, M.J., 2001, Maximising the Rigor of Action Research: Why would you want to? How could you? Field Methods 13(2), 160-180.        [ Links ]

Pierrakeas, C., Xenos, M., Panagiotakopoulos, C. & Vergidis, D., 2004, 'A comparative study of dropout rates and causes for two different distance education courses', IRRODL 5(2), viewed 10 March 2005, from        [ Links ]

Pollit, D.F. & Beck, C.T., 2004, Nursing Research: Principles and methods, Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, Philadelphia.         [ Links ]

Sambunjak, D., Straus, S.E. & Marusic, A., 2006, 'Mentoring in Academic Medicine', American Medical Association 296(9), 1103-1115.         [ Links ]

Sayed, Y., Kruss, G. & Badat, S., 1998, 'Students experience of postgraduate supervision at the University of the Western Cape', Journal of Further and Higher Education 22(3), 275-285.        [ Links ]

Siu, K.W.M., 2010, 'Postgraduate design research: Serving the society and the industry', Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences 2, 5706-5714.        [ Links ]

Speziale, H.J.S. & Carpenter, D.R., 2007, Qualitative Research in Nursing - Advancing the humanistic imperative, Lippincott Williams & Wilkens, Philadelphia.         [ Links ]

Tagg, P.I. & Arreola, R.A., 1996, 'Earning a masters of science in nursing through distance education', Journal of Professional Nursing 12(3), 154-158.        [ Links ]

Terre Blanche, M., Durrheim, K. & Painter, D., 2006, Research in Practice, University of Cape Town Press, Cape Town.         [ Links ]

Tobin, M.J. 2004, 'Mentoring: Seven roles and some specifics', American Journal of Respiratory Critical Care Medicine 170, 114-117., PMid: 15242852        [ Links ]

Turale, S., Ito, M., Murakami, K. & Nakao, F., 2009, 'Nursing scholarship in Japan: Development, facilitators and barriers', Nursing and Health Sciences 11, 166-173., PMid: 19519704        [ Links ]

Walker, W.O., Kelly, P.C. & Hume, R.F., 2002, Mentoring for the new millennium, in Medical Education Online, viewed 03 December 2010, from        [ Links ]

Zerzan, J.T., Hess, R., Schur, E., Phillips, R.S. & Rigotti, N., 2009, 'Making the most of mentore: A guide for mentees', Academic Medicine 84, (1), 140-144., PMid: 19116494        [ Links ]



Lizeth Roets
PO Box 392, University of South Africa 0003
South Africa

Received: 17 Apr. 2012
Accepted: 14 Oct. 2012
Published: 12 Dec. 2012

Creative Commons License Todo o conteúdo deste periódico, exceto onde está identificado, está licenciado sob uma Licença Creative Commons