EFFECT OF STRESS ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF NURSING STUDENTS
1.1 Background of the Study
The government of Nigeria is much concerned with the global agenda of achieving education for all. The academic performance of students has become a great concern to stakeholders of education. This has led the government to formulate and implement policies to improve academic performance. In Nigeria, the abolition of tuition fees and the introduction of the Capitation Grant Initiative in 2005 resulted in a massive increase in enrolment (18%) in public basic schools (MOESS, 2006). Many factors including persistent reforms of education, socio-economic status, poor infrastructure, inadequate teachers among others have been attributed to the low level of academic achievement in Nigeria. The Ministry of Education reports showed that over 20% of children leave school before the completion of the basic cycle, due to factors including the low quality public education (MOESS, 2006). A lecturer who does not have both the academic and the professional lecturer qualification would undoubtedly have a negative influence on the teaching, and learning of his/her subject. Great strides have been taken by successive governments towards the improvement of the school system yet it continues to experience poor performance. Stress has also been found to be a major contributing factor to academic performance. Kaplan & Sadock, (2000), stated that, although an optimal level of stress can enhance learning ability, Niemi & Vainiomaki, 1999; argued that, too much stress can cause physical and mental health problems and may affect the academic achievement of students. There have been numerous studies on stress and its impact on psychological and physical health for several decades by psychologists. Lazarus defined stress as a state of psychological arousal that results when external demands tax or exceed a person’s adaptive abilities (Lazarus, 1966). This shows that stress has discernable impact on students’ academic achievement.
The educational system in Nigeria over the years has gone through several reforms. The implementation of the reform programs introduced by the Government in 1987 reduced the number of years spent at the basic level from ten years to nine years. As part of the reforms, the Federal College of Education lasts for a period of three years. The Government in 2007 extended the years for Federal College of Education to four years and was again changed by the Government in 2009 to three years. All these reforms were geared towards higher academic achievement. The curriculum has been enriched and expanded in order to ensure quality performance, yet the Nigeria in education system is experiencing low academic performance. Considering these and other factors, it is important to consider perceived stress and academic performance of students in nursing Schools.
1.2 Statement of the problem
The effects of stress on nursing students’ impact on academic performance but could also trigger several psychiatric disorders as depression or anxiety, as well as other associated problems such as sleep disorders, alcohol, and psychoactive drug consumption, which in the short and long term may affect the patient care.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
Based on the nature of the problem, the project seeks to find out:
- The profile of Nursing Student’s Perceived Stress.
- The Academic Performance of nursing Students
- The Relationship between Perceived Stress and Academic Performance
1.4 Research Hypothesis
The following hypothesis was tested in the study below:
H0: There is no significant relationship between Nursing Students’ Perceived Stress, and Academic Performance.
H1: There is significant relationship between Nursing Students’ Perceived Stress and Academic Performance
1.4 Research Questions
The research seeks to answer the following questions:
- What is the Profile of Nursing Students’ Perceived Stress?
- What is the effect of stress on Academic Performance of Nursing Students’?
- What is the Academic Performance of Nursing students in the study area?
The findings of the study would provide essential information for students, parents, tutors, and other researchers on stress, and academic performance and will help students to cope effectively with stress, identify their strength and weakness in order to achieve academic excellence. The study will further help curriculum developers to develop constructive programs to improve academic performance. It will also help professionals like school counselors to develop strategies to ameliorate stress and help students to understand themselves. It will provide information to government to develop the rural schools in order to do well in academics. Finally, the study will serve as a source of reference material to students and other researchers who may undertake similar research work.
1.5 Significance of the Study
The study was significant for professional learners, teachers, decision makers or policy makers who worked on minimizing the factors which affect seriously affecting academic performance of learners. This research may also contribute to the management of school of Nursing to consider when formulating strategies to increase the academic performance and value of schooling by altering the student’s attitude on the way to education through conducting seminars, workshops, conferences, parents meeting, and financial supporter’s NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) about elimination of influencing factors.
Again, this intent contributing to the existing knowledge on effects of stress on academic performance of nursing students. It will enlighten school’s lecturers and the entire parent on stress of the students, thereby helping them to guard against problem in nursing colleges.
Moreover, this project will equally enlighten parents on the problem of too much stress which their children sometimes involve themselves.
The recommendation of the researchers may also contribute to the efforts at solving the problems of stress encountered by students in school of nursing.
The work will also be of benefits to nursing students and other users of the library. This is because, after completion of this research, a copy will be taken to the library for public consumption. Students will benefit from the findings of this research.
1.6 Scope and Delimitation of the Study
The scope of the study specifically focused or centered on the effects of stress on academic performance of nursing students.
The delimitation of the study will only cover a limited Nursing Schools shall be covered by this study. Conceptually the study will make use of concepts and terms use in educational psychology, guidance and counseling, moral instruction through curriculum.
1.7 Limitations of the study
The demanding schedule of respondents at work made it very difficult getting the respondents to participate in the survey. As a result, retrieving copies of questionnaire in timely fashion was very challenging. Also, the researcher is a student and therefore has limited time as well as resources in covering extensive literature available in conducting this research. Information provided by the researcher may not hold true for all businesses or organizations but is restricted to the selected organization used as a study in this research especially in the locality where this study is being conducted. Finally, the researcher is restricted only to the evidence provided by the participants in the research and therefore cannot determine the reliability and accuracy of the information provided.
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.