The purpose of this study was to explore and describe the perceptions of pupil-enrolled nurses with regard to the integration of theory into practice. The study was qualitative in nature and used exploratory and descriptive designs. The population of this study consisted of all the pupil-enrolled nurses at a private nursing school in Pretoria. These pupil-enrolled nurses had received theoretical instruction and had been given the opportunity to be placed in a clinical setting for practical experience. Purposive sampling method was used to select participants for the study. Data relevant to the study was collected through focus group interviews. Data analysis was done using Tesch’s method of analysis (cited in Creswell 1994:154) and categories, subcategories and themes emerged. Consequently, the following main categories were identified: evidence of cognitive/psychomotor and affective development, professional preparation, obstacles to theory practice integration, management issues in the nursing school and solutions to integration of theory into practice problems. In terms of the findings of the study, the following recommendations were made: better communication should be fostered between the school and the clinical practice area; there should be constant clinical accompaniment of pupil-enrolled nurses; skills laboratories should be better equipped and tutors employed who have a nursing education qualification as well as experience; student status should be recognised in the clinical area. Communication between the nursing school and the clinical practice area should be improved and pupil-enrolled nurses should be fully supported when they are in the clinical practice area.
Dissertation (MCur)--University of Pretoria, 2011.