Causes of ATtrition in CHIldren's NursinG (CATCHING): An exploratory mixed method study.

Lisa Whiting, Stephen McKeever, Alison Twycross, David Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Downloads (Pure)


Professional, financial and ethical reasons necessitate nursing improves its understanding of student attrition. Previous studies identify causes of attrition as multifactorial. However, few studies focus on children's nursing. This study aimed to explore causes of pre-registration children's nursing attrition.
Exploring the causes of attrition was achieved through quantitative and qualitative approaches. Three years of quantitative data relating to attrition rates and causes was obtained. These data informed semi-structured interviews of children's nursing students, from four London universities. These students had faced challenges and either ‘left’ (n = 5) or ‘stayed on’ (n = 13) their pre-registration programme.
Most attrition occurred in the first year of programmes and was primarily due to academic failure or personal circumstances; clinical placements also played a role. Emergent themes were ‘expectations of pre-registration children's nursing’; ‘realities of a pre-registration children's nursing course’, and ‘factors that influence students leaving or staying on the course’. Many participants reported a reluctance to disclose issues while on their course. Support to continue on the programme was frequently obtained away from university and students described relying on self-determination to complete programmes.
Findings indicated several areas of potential improvement for student support including targeted interventions focusing on a student's first year and reducing variation in support services provided.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-51
Number of pages8
JournalNurse Education in Practice
Issue number5
Early online date25 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018


  • Attrition
  • Children's nursing
  • Pre-registration nurse education
  • Young Adult
  • Students, Nursing/psychology
  • Student Dropouts/psychology
  • Humans
  • London
  • Pediatric Nursing
  • Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate
  • Child
  • Universities


Dive into the research topics of 'Causes of ATtrition in CHIldren's NursinG (CATCHING): An exploratory mixed method study.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this