• Becoming a stranger: The experience of African students' transformation in a baccalaureate school of nursing

      Omotosho, Samson Akinloye; Neal, Maggie T. (1998)
      This phenomenological study sought to understand the experience of African nursing students as they transition into nursing within the American culture. The central question was, what is it like to be an African nursing student in the United States? Students told stories about their experience that held significant meaning for them. Analysis of themes generated from the conversations revealed that the students' experience meant a personal transition and transformation, both as students and as strangers. The students' experience began with their detachment from home, a place that meant familiarity, security and comfort, indeed, was part of their very being. The detachment, experienced as a loss, was grieved by the students through frequent reference to home as they made comparisons of home's texture to that of their present life in America. The experience opened possibilities for realizing life's dreams. It also led to being a stranger. Being a stranger, the student was confronted with the challenges of making language effective, confronting issues about difference, learning new technology, facing unfamiliar methods of testing, and learning unfamiliar cultural practices. The students' transitioning encompassed adaptation, determination to succeed, reconciliation of new and old experiences, and the realization that some experiences were not reconcilable. Students were transformed by becoming more independent and developing new perspectives on life. Personally, the study initiated an inward journey that awakened a more holistic vision of the phenomenon of transition and transformation. It provided a new knowing that kindled a second chance at the meaning of being an African student. Finally, educators are urged to seek understanding of students through the art of unknowing; a call for open-mindedness, a posture for cherishing of diversity, a capacity for sensitivity to students' attachment to home places, and a consciousness for the historical nature of being. Administrators are urged to design orientation programs to address African students' difficulties related to technology, diversity and communication. African students need to reflect on memories of home and past, nourish those that make life flourish and unbound from those that are limiting. What might curriculum be like if these insights become praxis?
    • Developing a curriculum for professional nursing education in Swaziland: Views from Ministry of Health officials and nursing leaders

      Zwane, Thembi Isabel; Kavanagh, Kathryn Hopkins (1993)
      The purposes of this exploratory study were to learn about views held by Ministry of Health Officials and Nursing Leaders with regards to baccalaureate nursing graduates, and to ascertain content for baccalaureate nursing curriculum that is relevant and culturally acceptable in Swaziland. The theoretical framework for this study was based on literature on professional nursing education, curriculum development, role theory and the culture care theory. Eleven nursing Leaders and five Ministry of Health Officials acted as informants. They were selected on the basis that they are involved in decision-making for nursing education in Swaziland, have knowledge of the phenomenon studied, and were willing and able to share their views. Over a four-month period data were collected using semi-structured interviews. Interpretations of findings were related to existing literature. Validity of data was achieved through triangulation of multiple data sources. Content analysis was undertaken to inductively derive themes or patterns from data. Diverse descriptions of professional nursing education emerged from the data. Current and future nurses' roles in health care were identified. Baccalaureate and diploma nursing graduates were compared. Relevant and culturally acceptable courses for baccalaureate nursing curriculum were identified. Implications of the study for nursing education are discussed.
    • The effect of student-field instructor similarity on their respective perceptions of the field practicum in social work education

      Polinger, Eileen Joan; Ephross, Paul H. (1991)
      This study examined the effect of graduate social work student/field instructor similarity on their respective perceptions of the field practicum experience in social work education. This was done by surveying the students and field instructors in three Master of Social Work programs, pairing student responses with those of their own field instructor, and studying the results for congruency and significance. Similarity was conceptualized as one person or thing being like another, the sharing of some but not all characteristics, as having a general likeness, as closely resembling and as nearly corresponding. Perceptions were conceptualized as the ways people understand and view their surroundings--the ways people identity, comprehend, and grasp the meanings of things. The independent variable was similarity/dissimilarity between student and field instructor and the dependent variable was the congruency of their respective perception of field practicum elements. Similarity of student and field instructor was measured by socio-demographic factors, the Kolb Learning Style Inventory, and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Congruence of perception was measured by means of questions on practice factors, a Q Sort, and a group of open ended evaluative questions. One hundred thirteen pairs (226 returns) constituted the analyzable data. There was indeed similarity in the perceptions of students and field instructors. Year of placement status was found to be related to perception of practicum elements. The premise that personality similarity and teaching/learning style preference similarity are related to similarity in the perception of practicum elements was neither supported nor refuted. Certain selected socio-demographic similarities were found to be related to perception of practicum elements and certain selected socio-demographic similarities were found to be related to positive perception of practicum elements. Areas of similarity that emerged as significant included age, religion, years of experience in social work, teaching/learning style. Year of placement status, gender, race, ethnicity, and area of specialization. Implications of study findings are discussed as they relate to current literature and to learning and role theories. Implications for future research and social work education are identified as are the limitations of the study.