Exploring barriers that nurses experience to enrolment for a postgraduate nursing qualification at a higher education institution in South Africa

M O Mbombi, T M Mothiba


Background. Professional nurses with a Master’s degree have shown competence in improving quality and continuous care, including palliative care, mental health, post-transplant care and central venous care. However, nursing departments at South African (SA) universities experience challenges, such as fewer students in postgraduate courses, including Master’s studies.

Objective. To explore and describe the barriers that nurses experience regarding enrolment for postgraduate qualifications.

Methods. A qualitative explorative-descriptive approach was used to examine experiences of nurses regarding enrolment for postgraduate studies at a tertiary hospital in Limpopo Province, SA. Purposive sampling was used to select professional nurses at this tertiary hospital. Data were collected using a semi-structured interview, which was analysed by Tesch’s open coding of data analysis.

Results. It was found that professional nurses’ lack of information regarding postgraduate studies and lack of funding were barriers to enrolment, as well as not being satisfied with the current educational status and not seeing the purpose of obtaining a Master’s degree.

Conclusion. The study findings highlight a need for workshops in Limpopo hospitals, especially regarding how to enrol and the importance of enrolling for postgraduate qualifications.

Authors' affiliations

M O Mbombi, Department of Nursing Science, School of Health Care Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Limpopo, Polokwane, South Africa

T M Mothiba, Executive Dean's Office, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Limpopo, Polokwane, South Africa

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Barriers postgraduate qualification; Nurses' experiences enrolment

Cite this article

African Journal of Health Professions Education 2020;12(1):41-45. DOI:10.7196/AJHPE.2020.v12i1.1126

Article History

Date submitted: 2020-03-31
Date published: 2020-03-31

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