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The graduate entry Master of Nursing Science: learning, teaching and practising

Co Investigators:

Dr Philippa Seaton
Dr Virginia Jones

The two year pathway to nursing registration through a Masters qualification (MNSc), approved by the New Zealand Nursing Council, was offered for the first time in 2016 from the Department of Postgraduate Nursing at the University of Otago, Christchurch.

Qualifications of this type are becoming more common internationally, but they are not without their challenges for students, lecturing staff and clinical preceptors. The relatively small amount of literature that does exist, indicates that students face a range of issues surrounding the compressed nature of the course and once in practice, students experience, for example, deep satisfaction with their career change, but can also be faced with suspicion from colleagues.

Those lecturing MNSc students are reported to find them different, and sometimes harder, to teach than those who already have nursing qualifications and have subsequently enrolled in a Master of Nursing. Research on preceptor experiences indicates complexity.

The overall aim of this research is to investigate the experiences of those involved in what is the first programme of its kind in New Zealand.
The research is designed to do three things:

  •  To follow one cohort of students longitudinally for five years.
  • To investigate the perceptions of those teaching the MNSc students.
  • To explore the perceptions of clinical preceptors who work with MNSc students in clinical settings.

Findings from this study will inform teaching and learning for MNSc students, lecturing and preceptor staff. Findings will also contribute to the relatively small body of international literature on this topic.