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Keywords:

  • academic performance;
  • counselling;
  • nurse education;
  • nursing students;
  • randomized controlled trial

Abstract

Title. Supportive counselling programme for nursing students experiencing academic failure: randomized controlled trial.

Aim.  This paper is a report of a study examining the effects of a supportive counselling programme on the academic performance of Iranian nursing students experiencing academic failure.

Background.  In order to using limited educational resources effectively, nursing students experiencing academic failure should be immediately identified in order that appropriate intervention can take place.

Method.  Data were collected over a 12-month period in 2006–2007, with 42 Bachelor of Science nursing students who displayed poor academic performance. They were randomly allocated to receive either supportive or ordinary counselling. The mean grades in basic theoretical courses, special courses, and also the combination of both basic and special courses was compared between the two groups.

Findings.  Over the study period, there were improvements in the mean grades of special courses and also in both basic and special courses of male students in the experimental group, compared with those of male students in the control group (0·27 against −1·43, P = 0·014; and 1·87 against −0·40, P = 0·009; respectively).

Conclusion.  A supportive counselling programme can improve the academic performance of male nursing students. Replication of the current study with larger samples and longer duration is recommended.