Nurse educators’ reflections on factors that contributed to their resignation at a public nursing college in Johannesburg, South Africa

Vhothusa Edward Matahela


Background and objective: There is a shortage of nurses in the country and worldwide, and the problem is compounded by the resignation of nurse educators. When nurse educators resign, they leave with their expertise and skills, thus compromising the provision of quality teaching and learning in the institution. It is imperative that a study to determine the factors contributing to the resignation of nurse educators be conducted.  The aim of the study was to explore and describe the factors that contributed to the resignation of nurse educators at a Johannesburg nursing college in South Africa. 

Methods: A qualitative, exploratory, descriptive and contextual research design was used to provide an in-depth description of factors that contributed to nurse educators resigning from a Johannesburg nursing college. Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 purposively selected nurse educators, using audiotapes until data saturation. Data were analysed by the researcher and an independent coder using the Tesch protocols on thematic analysis. Trustworthiness was achieved using Lincoln and Guba’s strategies.

Results: Three themes emerged, namely: experience of an unappreciative working environment; negative influences on the ‘self’ of the nurse educator; and the need for career advancement and professional growth.

Conclusions: The provision of quality nursing education to produce nurses will be difficult in the face of nurse educators resigning from their posts. There is a need to implement retention strategies to create an appreciative working context for nurse educators in the institution.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

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

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