Background: There is a recognised shortage of nurses globally and specifically in England. There is also a particular need to expand and diversify the current nursing workforce. Previous evidence shows that both South Asians and men have long been underrepresented on nursing courses and in the nursing workforce. This study aimed to carry out a secondary review of applications, acceptance and attrition data for nursing preregistration courses in England to understand the relationship between sex, ethnicity and success rates.
Methods: Secondary descriptive analysis of national data on applications (n=150, 445 applicants), acceptances and attrition rates (n=416,457 enrolled students) in relation to nursing preregistration courses in England from 2013 to 2016. Study conducted in January 2018. The sample was restricted to undergraduate courses.
Results: Using proportion ratios, using 95% confidence intervals, British South Asian men are significantly more likely to apply to nursing courses than their White counterparts. They are half as likely to be accepted for those nursing courses. British South Asian men are also significantly more likely to leave their nursing course without any award than British White men. These results have implications for nursing educators and specifically those involved in widening participation policy for minority groups and the nursing profession.
Conclusion: These results indicate the need to further consider why British South Asian men are applying for nursing education courses in proportion to their prevalence in England, why are they so unlikely to be accepted on nursing courses in comparison to other groups? and why are they so likely to leave their nursing course without any award? This should be done to identify policy implications and organisational practice that may act as barriers for this cohort successfully completing their nursing education.
Irtiza Qureshi, Nasreen Ali, David Hewson and Gurch Randhawa