Recognition of prior learning as university entry criteria is successful in postgraduate nursing students
- Publication Type:
- Journal Article
- Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 2002, 39 (1), pp. 54 - 62
- Issue Date:
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The higher education sector in the 1990s actively encouraged applicants who did not have undergraduate qualifications to enter graduate courses on the basis of prior learning activities including work experience. The transfer of undergraduate nursing programmes to the university system left a pool of highly experienced nurses, usually with extensive training and experience, with few educational opportunities to advance themselves. This paper reports a comparison of academic achievements in graduate nursing programmes between those with undergraduate qualifications and those admitted using a recognition of prior learning (RPL) initiative. Results indicate that the academic achievement of the hospital-trained nurses was similar to those admitted with a formal qualification. For five consecutive annual cohorts of graduates, academic achievement for both groups, as measured by the weighted average mark (WAM), was recorded across the five years. The size of each group changed over the period of the study; the tertiary qualified group was smaller in the earlier years but became larger over time, while the hospital certificate group was initially large and became smaller over time. Those with tertiary qualifications were significantly (p<0.01) younger than those with hospital certificate qualifications, though in both groups cohort age increased over the five years.
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