PERCEIVED PROBLEMS AND ACADEMIC NEED ACHIEVEMENT MOTIVATION AMONG STUDENTS IN SCHOOL OF NURSING UCTH CAPLABAR IN CROSS RIVER STATE NIGERIA
Background to the Study
Schools, colleges and universities have no worth without students. Pitt, Powis, Jones and Hunter (2012) explains that students are most essential assets for any educational institute as the social and economic development of the country is directly linked with student academic achievement. The students’ academic achievement plays an important role in producing the best quality graduates who will become great leaders and manpower for the country, thus responsible for the country’s health indices, economy and social development. Nursing education should be taken as an important aspect of healthcare provision, by ensuring nurses with the right training and characters are produced to provide the necessary healthcare. The need for achievement motivation is significant for their academic accomplishment. College life can be stressful, it is one of the most unforgettable experiences in one’s life, and the higher the level the more difficult the lessons encountered. Over the past year, Goff (2009) reported that the academic and clinical performance of students at the nursing college has been poor. Given the growing trends in disease state in population, and at the same time, a more complex, rapidly-changing, and acutely-ill health care environment requires nursing graduates to possess higher levels of knowledge and improved clinical judgment.
Nursing is a challenging profession that tends to attract self-motivated, lifelong learners. Qalawa, Shahin, Hassan and Gaballa (2015) argue that a nurse’s education never ends, because of the need to stay in progress on health care issues and changes in medical theory and practice. Beauvais, Stewart, DeNisco and Beauvais (2013) agree that qualified prepared nurses will be needed in order to achieve this goal and Singh (2011) concludes that one of the most important factors that lead to student nurses academic accomplishments is the need for achievement motivation. Onete, Edet, Udey and Ogbor (2012) suggests that high need achievement motivated students are constantly competing with standards of excellence and that the most important single ingredient in achievement motivation is a feeling of self-directed competence, which is influence by the need for achievement, the probability of success and the incentive value of success. Nursing student’s goal according to Al-Saleh, Al-Madi, Al-Angari and Shukrie (2010) is to have good grades in all professional, major and minor subjects and do well in chosen field as reflected in the performance during duties. Passing the Nursing licensure examination could be considered as one of the motivation of the nursing student since having the title as, a Registered Nurse would pay it all, regarding the sleepless nights, time consuming and energy wasting long requirements, the ever enervating duties and expensive tuition. Nursing students with the need for achievement in clinical settings must have an appropriate professional behaviour, establish an appropriate interaction with the patients, prioritize the problems, have the basic knowledge about clinical methods, perform the care procedures correctly, and apply critical thinking.
Hendricson (2015) believes that need achievement motivation is a society related factor and has the highest relationship with, and is the most valid prediction of students’ academic performance. Hamid, Faroukh, and Mohammadhosein (2015) agreed that the desire for a high level of achievement puts a lot of pressure on students, teachers, and schools and in general the educational system itself. The proved is no more a denying fact that the whole system of education revolves round the academic achievement of students, though various other outcomes are also expected from the system. For every student there is a variable driving force, in fact, it is not just a single factor, but a combination of factors that lead students to achieve their goals (Badola, 2013). The connections between cognitive strategies, the motivational dimension and need achievement are multidirectional and complex. Qalawa, Shahin, Hassan and Gaballa (2015) argues that although learning involves individual cognitive and emotional processes, students’ motivation is also significantly influenced by a supportive network of relationships such as students’ personal characteristics, social relationship, finance, school adjustment and family background. They conclude that the likelihood that students will be motivated and engaged in school is increased to the extent that they perceive their teachers, family, and friends as supportive. Singh (2011) highlight that students high in academic motivation are more likely to have increased levels of academic achievement and have lower dropout rates and those low in academic motivation have higher dropout rates. Students are more likely to show higher achievement motivation when they felt the need to conform to external standards of excellence, typically imposed by their parents, the surrounding culture or profession.
The problems facing today’s students, particularly those with behavioural and emotional problems, are innumerable and daunting (Ricker & Nicolino, 2011). Some of the problems that students often raised as documented by Heckman, Lim and Montalto (2014) are psychosocial such as problems with anxiety and stress, depression, loneliness, adjusting to a new culture, homesickness. Ebrahim, Rady, Lamia and El-Sayed (2015) added that students face numerous stressors in addition to academic demands that contribute to the low academic need achievement such as increased freedoms, decision making, and challenging family beliefs and by engaging in risky behaviours, or pressure to do well. Many nursing students as reported by Shakya, Lama, Shrestha, Pandey, Shyangwa and Deo (2013) suffer from psychological problems and experience the stress, common stressor being related with nursing education. Finn (2010) argues that perceived students’ problems have a daunting influence on motivation and determined the motive for success, the probability of success and the incentive value of success. It is the challenging aspects of academic literature because students’ academic achievement is affected by social, psychological, economic, environmental and personal problems which strongly influence the students’ need for academic achievement motivation. Psychological problems have been shown to occur among college students at study time or examination times and in relation to entering school, also in relation to important events in the student’s personal and family life (Nsereko, Musisi, Nakigudde & Sekiwu, 2014). Social factors in academic achievement are relevant because of their detrimental impact to the student’s abilities to socialize and achieve academically. Lieutenant and Ghesquiere (2013) believe that the combinations of social and personal factors are important to increase the students’ motivation for learning and hard working. The stress students have over paying for college according to Groux (2012) affects them in many ways, but it is particularly apparent in their academic achievements. The amount of support and stability offered at home can have a big impact on how students achieve in school (Kumari and Chamundeswari, 2013). Though schools invested in fostering good academic habits, are often influenced by concerns about monetary aid from government institutions, which can hinge on the overall academic performance and the goal attainments of the school (Reed, 2010).
Academic achievement appears to be a problem, not only at nursing colleges, but at all academic institutions. The quality of students’ performance remains a top priority for educators therefore; it is important to have a clear understanding of what benefits or hinders students’ educational achievement. The study on perceived problems and academic need achievement motivation among student nurses is relevant because of their detrimental impact to the nursing students’ abilities to socialize and achieve academically. In this study, attention was specifically given towards five main areas of the nursing students perceived problems domain; students’ personal psychological problems, social relationship problems, financial problems, family problems and school adjustment problems. These areas were chosen among other specific domains because of their high value for students with academic problems, and their role in the enhancement of academic achievement.
Statement of the Problem
The enhancement of the academic achievement of the Nigerian students has continued to engage the attention of educational practitioners and policy makers. The consequences of not addressing the problems of students’ need for academic achievement motivation in nursing schools are many given the growing trends in disease state in population, and at the same time, a more complex, rapidly-changing, and acutely-ill health care environment requires nursing graduates to possess higher levels of knowledge and improved clinical judgment. Nursing is a challenging profession that tends to attract self-motivated, lifelong learners. Students by their nature are motivated by multidimensional factors within and outside their studies. Achievement motivation can be seen in many areas of human behaviour, on the job, in homemaking, Adeyemi and Adeyemi (2014) stress that individuals who are high in achievement motivation tend to get higher grades in school, earn more rapid promotions, and attain greater competence and success in job than students low in such motivation. Therefore achievement motivation has been considered as an important concept in the dynamics of human behaviour.
Educators across the country as highlighted by Howey (2011) are frustrated with the challenge of how to motivate the ever increasing number of students entering college who are psychologically, socially, financially and academically unprepared for the demands of college life. Such students often exhibit maladaptive behaviour such as poor sleep habits, skipping classes, procrastinating, disorganization, feeling overwhelmed, not studying or reading enough, failing to network, not resolving relationship issues. High levels of stress Ruytenbeek (2013) believes can result in a variety of physical and psychological distress which in turn can affect the well-being and performance of the student. Studies by Al-Saleh, Al-Madi, Al-Angari and Shukrie (2010) have shown significant relationships between stress perception and several factors such as gender, marital status, home environment school environment, socio-economic status, personal characteristics and academic year and their motivating and demotivating influence on need achievement motivation of students.
Achievement is very important in education, despite the huge resources expended by government, results in the require quantum and quality are not forthcoming. Over the past year, the academic and clinical performance of students at the nursing schools was poor. In recent times, however, a large number of students who sit for the Nursing council’s licensure examinations fail on their first attempt, this makes governmental efforts in producing quality nurses to address key areas of the millennium development goals appear to be threatened. The researcher observed that perceived self-efficacy, poor social support, a lack of academic skills and lack of motivation, an overloaded curriculum, a heavy workload, lack of equipment and scarce resources, inadequate manpower and family problems seem to be the problem. Consideration about unmotivated students opens a Pandora’s Box of questions: What factors hinders academic performance among students in nursing institution? How far do the different factors contribute towards academic achievement? Can student academic performance be predicted on the knowledge of these factors? Hence, it is very much crucial for research to determine perceived problems and academic need achievement motivation among students in School of Nursing UCTH Calabar in Cross River State, Nigeria and to discover what factors are related to their motivation as well as what would increase their motivation if necessary.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study was to examine the influence of Perceived Problems on Academic Need Achievement Motivation among Students in Schools of Nursing UCTH Calabar in Cross River State, Nigeria.
The Objectives of the Study
The specific objectives of the study were to:
- Determine the personal psychological problems encountered by nursing students.
- Identify the social relationship problems experienced by nursing students.
- Determine the financial problems experienced by nursing students.
- Examine the family problems experienced by nursing students.
- Identify the school adjustment problems encountered by nursing students.
- Determine the relationship between students’ demographic characteristics (gender, class level, marital status and age) and perceived problems
- Determine the academic need achievement motivation of nursing students
- Determine the relationship between students’ perceived problems and their academic need achievement motivation.
- What are the personal psychological problems encountered by nursing students?
- What are the social relationship problems experienced by nursing students?
- What are the financial problems experienced by nursing students?
- What are the family problems experienced by nursing students?
- What are the school adjustment problems experienced by nursing students?
- What is the relationship between students’ demographic characteristics (gender, class level, marital status and age) and perceived problems?
- What are the academic need achievement motivations of nursing students?
- What is the relationship between students’ perceived problems and their academic need achievement motivation?
The following hypotheses were formulated for the study:
- There will be no significant relationship between personal psychological problems and academic need achievement motivation of nursing students.
- There will be no significant relationship between social relationship problems and academic need achievement motivation of nursing students.
- There will be no significant relationship between financial problems and academic need achievement motivation of nursing students.
- There will be no significant relationship between family problems and academic need achievement motivation of nursing students.
- There will be no significant relationship between school adjustment problems and academic need achievement motivation of nursing students.
- There will be no significant relationship between students’ demographic characteristics (gender, class level, marital status and age) and perceived problems.
- There will be no significant relationship between students’ perceived problems and academic need achievement motivation.
Significance of the Study
Findings from this study will benefit individuals, school guidance counselors and policy makers in the following ways: First of all it will reveal perceived problems influencing students’ academic need achievement motivation. Findings from the study will add to the body of knowledge in enhancement of academic achievement of student nurses which will be used by counselors to screen student for psychosocial health indicators of academic achievement that include depression, stress, social support, and optimism and life satisfaction. Findings could assist policy makers to recognize that students have high level of motivation, and there is a need to develop certain measures and programs to sustain students’ motivation and enhance their psychological and social wellbeing. The study offers empirical support to assist educational policy makers, administrator and educators in the educational planning and implementation to enact and implement legislations that allow for periodic psychological health assessment among college students and promote sustainable preventive programs. The findings from the study will also provide information that will help instructors and academic personnel to have a clear understanding of what benefits or hinders students’ educational achievement and thereby provide support. Administrators can use the information gained to enhance student-resources interaction at the schools, and their significant role in providing support and promoting students’ academic accomplishment. Finally students would also benefit from the study through suggestions offered on ways of improving students’ academic achievement by the various interactions of the components of perceived problems identified in the study and the study will lay a solid foundation which subsequent researchers in similar studies may build upon
Scope of the Study
The study is delimited to perceived problems influencing academic need achievement motivation of nursing students. The study focuses on first year, second and third year students in Schools of Nursing UCTH Calabar in Cross River State, Nigeria. Students are faced with varying perceived problems, but the content scope covered factors such as personal psychological problems, social relationship problems, financial constraints, family problems and school level problems.
Operational Definition of Terms
The key concepts in this research are defined as follows:
Academic need: The various educational programs designed to meet the unique needs of students in a wide variety of settings to assure that all students have every opportunity to reach their full potential.
Academic need achievement: Is the outcome of education or the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their educational goals. It is commonly measured by examinations or continuous assessment.
Motivation: Is the attribute that moves an individual to do or not do something or general tendency to interact with and to express influence over the environment
Academic achievement: Refers to what the student have learned or what skills the student has learned and is usually measured through assessments like standardized tests and performance assessments
Academic need Achievement Motivation: The need to overcome obstacles as identified in students strive for excellence which is measured by academic performance or how well students meet the standards set out by the local authorities and the institution itself. Perceived Problems: what the students see as difficulties influencing their academic need achievement motivation.
Nursing student: A student in school of Nursing UCTH Calabar in the 1 – 3 year of study.