Time spent studying on a pre-registration nursing programme module: an exploratory study and implications for regulation.
ABSTRACT European Union (EU) regulations require that university programmes are of specified duration. Additional EU regulations apply specifically to university based nurse education, enacted in the UK by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). However, little is known about how much time student nurses spend on their studies. In this exploratory study, students undertaking a single module in the pre-registration diploma programme at an English university were asked to keep a log of learning activity for the duration of the module. Twenty-six students completed the log. These students achieved higher grades and attended more lectures than the average for the module. The mean study time was 128.4 h against a regulatory assumption that the module should take 200 h. More than half of the 26 students undertook paid work during the module run, though this work was not associated with poorer performance. Problems in regulation for course duration are discussed and it is suggested that undertaking a 4600 h course in 3 years is problematic. More research is required so that patterns of study can be better understood and student centred programmes meeting regulatory requirements developed.