Factors that hinder the academic performance of the nursing students who registered as first years in 2010 at the University of Namibia (UNAM), Oshakati Campus in Oshana, Namibia

Lusia N. Pinehas, Ester Mulenga, Julia Amadhila


The University of Namibia (UNAM) is the only national university in Namibia that was established in 1992. It offers diploma and degree courses. The Bachelor of Nursing Science (Clinical) (Honours) was introduced in 2008 after the Diploma in Comprehensive Nursing Science was phased out. This degree is offered over the period of four years full-time. Students are allocated to the clinical practice throughout the training to acquire the relevant nursing skills. At the time of research the course was offered at two campuses only namely Windhoek and Oshakati. The total number of students who were admitted in 2010 was 83, but at the time of the research when they were in their fourth year, there were only 59. The difference of 24 was the students who could not make it to the fourth year and finish in the prescribed time frame. The lecturers were concerned with the poor performance of the students, the increased number of students with some modules behind, and the overcrowding of some classes. The purpose of the study was to identify, explore and describe the factors that hinder the academic performance of the nursing students at the UNAM Oshakati campus. The study was conducted among nursing students who registered for the Bachelor of Nursing Science (Clinical) (Honours) in 2010. The study was qualitative, exploratory, descriptive and contextual in nature using non-probability purposive sampling. The findings revealed that the academic performance of student nurses at the University of Namibia Oshakati campus is influenced by both internal and external factors. However, external factors are many compared to internal factors. External related factors comprise of teaching and learning, insufficient resources, lack of university accommodation, curriculum related and socio-economic factors. Teaching and learning related factors include use of one teaching strategy, language barriers, inadequate support and labeling of students by lecturers. On the other hand, insufficient resources are unavailability of the bookshop on campus, insufficient prescribed textbooks, poor internet facility, lack of space and less equipped library. Curriculum related factors include overloaded examination time table, huge scope of test, study day system and module pre-requisites, while socio-economic factors are problems in relationships, peer influence, financial problems and pregnancy while studying. Internal factors comprise of students’ attitude and lack of self-discipline among some students. Those factors result in increased number of students with some modules behind, overcrowding of some classes, increased student-lecturer ratio and some students not completing their studies within the prescribed time frame. 

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v7n8p63

Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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