Expert advice

Student attrition: why we need to be systematic in tackling it

Lack of standardised data hampers efforts to help students stay the course to graduation

Nursing Standard research suggests attrition in undergraduate nursing programmes varies widely but remains high overall

Everyone agrees nursing student attrition is a big issue, but we only know just how big, courtesy of Nursing Standard.

Despite the critical need to understand how many nursing students fail to complete their education, there is no standardised, publicly available data.

Research on attrition gives us a picture of trends

Nursing Standard has to do all the hard work, chasing up each university using Freedom of Information requests. It has done this repeatedly in recent years, building up both a picture of trends over time and variation between universities.

Results of the student attrition survey