Perceptions of the Nursing Students and Academic Staff on College Recruitment Policies in the UAE

Hadya Abboud Abdel Fattah, Omar Melhem, Nathira Alhmaimat, Gehan Sallam


Background: Higher education in field of Nursing in the United Arab Emirates faces many challenges regarding the increasing number of nursing students at the Baccalaureate level in nursing programs, which in fact, is a similar situation in all parts of the world (Saifan et al., 2021; Wollin & Fairweather, 2012 & Torregosa et al., 2015). Method: This qualitative research is intended to discover the perceptions of UAE nursing undergraduate students, along with their teaching faculty, regarding the recruitment policies within the nursing colleges of the UAE. The grounded theory constructivist approach was followed. In addition, the “Conceptual Model of Academic Performance” has explained the data analysis of the responses. A focus group interview has been conducted with ten nursing students who were in their third year and five nursing lecturers. These students are attending nursing colleges in Abu Dhabi. In order to gain a clear understanding of their impressions, an open-ended interview has been conducted about current recruitment policy (in general), with a focus on the IELTS and GAP (tests) requirements, ie: minimum scores. Conclusion: The findings indicate that students were dissatisfied with the requirement of “Band (6)” for the IELTS test score. They suggested decreasing this requirement to a band of 5 - 5.5 for accepted college admission requirements. They were, however, happy with the high school GPA policy whereby more consideration was given to some students, which minimizes the expectations while simultaneously increasing their chances of becoming Emirati qualified nurses. Furthermore, by easing the requirements, the UAE has helped in reducing the current nursing shortage.

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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online) Email:

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