With the COVID-19 pandemic highlighting the importance of the healthcare workers in society, 2020 saw many students applying to nursing courses in the UK – almost a 22% increase compared to the number of students accepted to the practice in 2019.
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However, despite the increased recognition for the profession and heightened interest in students worldwide, Nursing Standard 2020 reveals that the average attrition rate remains at 25%, with almost 1 out of 4 nurses dropping out of their course.
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Causes Behind This High Drop Out Rate
Several factors accumulate over time, compelling students to drop out of their nursing courses. Thus, despite the increasing demand for nursing professionals, the declining number of new workforce entrants has caused an acute shortage in the number of nurses available.
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Several researchers have highlighted why nursing students struggle with their studies. These are:
Nursing isn't an easy course, to begin with. To ace this course, you need to have a clear idea of the nursing fundamentals, understand healthcare basics, and work on assignments non-stop. Therefore, several nursing students complain of suffering from intense burnout . In addition, many students suffer from fatigue, digestion problems, headaches, and other physical ailments pretty frequently.
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If you're hoping for a 9 to 5 job where you can clock out after your shift hours, then nursing isn't up your alley. Instead, you need to be prepared to assist in any emergency, sacrifice sleep hours to take care of patients, work around high-pressure situations and multi-task every day.
The increased work engagement barely leaves enough time for you to enjoy a personal life. Thus, most students who can’t cope with the pressure prefer to drop out of the course early on.
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On top of the physical ailments, nursing students have to undergo intense mental stress. It is a highly competitive line of study where frustration follows every step. In addition, there's a never-ending line of classes and assignments you have to keep up with without falling behind. Hence, it’s not surprising that students without strong mental fortitude have to give up midway.