Development of an attrition risk prediction tool.
Aim: To review lecturers’ and students’ perceptions of the factors that may lead to attrition from pre-registration nursing and midwifery programmes and to identify ways to reduce the impact of such factors on the student’s experience. Background: Comparable attrition rates for nursing and midwifery students across various universities are difficult to monitor accurately; however, estimates that there is approximately a 25% national attrition rate are not uncommon. The financial and human implications of this are significant and worthy of investigation. Method: A study was carried out in one medium-sized UK school of nursing and midwifery, aimed at identifying perceived factors associated with attrition and retention. Thirty-five lecturers were interviewed individually; 605 students completed a questionnaire, and of these, 10 were individually interviewed. Attrition data kept by the student service department were reviewed. Data were collected over an 18-month period in 2007–2008. Findings: Regression analysis of the student data identified eight significant predictors. Four of these were ‘positive’ factors in that they aided student retention and four were ‘negative’ in that they were associated with students’ thoughts of resigning. Conclusion: Student attrition and retention is multifactorial, and, as such, needs to be managed holistically. One aspect of this management could be an attrition risk prediction tool.
Citation:Fowler, J. and Norrie, P. (2009) Development of an attrition risk prediction tool. British Journal of Nursing, 18 (19), pp.1194-1200.
Research Group:Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre