Nursing education today is primarily catered within the framework of higher education and combined with a health care sector that is rapidly changing, this has put the focus on educational outcome. The present study focuses on this outcome in terms of generic and professional skills and the professional preparedness of the students. 1,110 students in their final semester of a general nursing program at 24 universities in Sweden responded to questionnaires. The results revealed that the students perceived themselves to have especially developed their information-seeking abilities, critical and analytical thinking and professional knowledge and skills, whereas they did not perceive their education to have similarly developed their understanding of people from other cultures or their engagement in the development of society. Significant differences between men and women in relation to educational outcome were found in almost all areas of the study.
The researchers surveyed nursing students yearly during their three-year education, and examined active and emotional engagement. We examined the association of these properties with seven independent variables: higher educational institution, class size, age, gender, prior assistant nurse education, study experience and self-rated health. This longitudinal study included 1,334 students from 24 universities and university colleges in Sweden. Active engagement increased and emotional engagement decreased during the study years. Male students, older students and those with prior assistant nurse education had higher active engagement than other students. Older students, females, students with good self-rated health and those attending universities had higher emotional engagement. Study results suggest that higher educational institutions should pay more attention to students active and emotional engagement in learning situations, since this may increase the ability of the students to cope with stressful events during their education, giving them an extra resource on which they can draw.