A classical ethnographic study on academic monitoring and support services of undergraduate nursing students in higher education in KwaZulu Natal
Attrition of student nurses is increasingly gaining attention in the context of chronic shortage of nurses globally. Nursing education institutions are implementing a range of student support interventions to address student dropout. Literature however shows that most of the existing interventions are not comprehensive and they focus on addressing the pathology by fixing students problems. Using an ethnographic approach and grounded theory data analysis framework, this study explored implementation of academic monitoring and support (AMS) in an undergraduate nursing programme. The findings revealed that a comprehensive AMS programme that is holistic is characterised by institutional commitment at strategic level, a vision, mission and strategic plan that reflects commitment to opening access for success to all student irrespective of their background, a student support policy framework providing context to AMS, dedicated resources, a mix of student support initiatives at different stages; pre-entry, integration into the institution, during curriculum offering, and preparing completing students for the world of work. Effective AMS emerged as student centred in nature, centrally coordinated, implemented collaboratively, with students academic performance tracked and monitored throughout the programme, and interventions on each student captured on an online SharePoint system accessible to all members of the team for continuity.