First Year Nursing Student Experience: Learning and Coping when the Rubber Touches the Road

Follow the decision by an average Jamaican girl to enter a tertiary institution to pursue nursing education after a perceived 'less than average' life. The paper documents the immediate adjustment to an unexpected social environment with the many emotional twists and turns as the nursing student becomes familiar with the requirement of first year nursing students. The paper also shows the many 'taken for granted' expectations of first year nursing students and their emotional adaptation to new pedagogy while making the transition from secondary to tertiary education system.

This descriptive research gives an account, in full detail, of the complex mind set and expectations of first year nursing students and the need for nursing schools to have more student-centered culture to nursing education while preserving the professionalism of their nursing programmes. Also included in this research is the behaviour and attitudes of many lecturers process of nursing education. This approach provided the quilted carpet to cushion the first year experience of nursing students. An analysis was done of some of the main courses offered during the first year of the nursing education programme. Information gleaned from this paper can help facilitators, lecturers and administrators to provide a more student-centered first year experience that will auger well for the overall nursing education.

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