Motivational sources of practical nursing students at risk of dropping out from vocational education and training
The aim of this study was to contribute to the understanding of the reasons for low or high academic motivation among practical nursing students at risk of dropping out from vocational education and training. The research data consisted of semi-structured interviews with 14 Finnish students, which were analysed by qualitative content analysis. The analysis identified six motivational sources. Two of these sources – Responsible agency and Completing out of necessity – were related to engagement in studying, whereas two other sources – Exhaustion from learning challenges and Tight-roping between competing responsibilities – were related to disengagement from studying. Emotional drive and Social orientation were ambivalent motivation sources, partly pushing towards engagement as well as to disengagement, depending on the circumstances. Overall, the complicated reasons for low or high motivation were found to be heterogeneous and, consequently, the ways to support students may also vary.
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