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University-based nursing education is expected to inculcate in the nurse additional skills and improved knowledge in areas of research and critical thinking that will bring about improvement in patient care. Nurses’ perception and attitudes to university nursing education may affect their readiness to accept the programme. This study investigated the perception and attitudes of clinical nurses at Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki [FETHA] towards university-based nursing education. A descriptive cross sectional research design was employed and the sample consisted of 222 clinical nurses who have not undergone university nursing education, working at FETHA during the study period. A self-structured questionnaire with reliability coefficient of 0.84 was used for data collection.  Data generated were analyzed with both descriptive and inferential statistics using SPSS version 17. Z-statistic and ANOVA were used for testing the four hypotheses formulated, at a significance level of 0.05. The study revealed that clinical nurses at FETHA perceived university-based nursing education as a programme that will train safe nurse practitioners. An over all positive perception of university-based nursing education with mean score of 3.04 was demonstrated. This perception was neither affected by gender (Zcal=1.43, df=220, p > 0.05) nor cadre (Zcal=0.277, df=220, p > 0.05). Clinical nurses especially upper cadre showed negative attitudes to nurse graduates working under them (mean score=2.40); zcal=4.161, df=220, p<0 .05="" 2.53="" 4-point="" a="" as="" average="" being="" clinical="" different="" generally="" graduate="" graduates="" in="" mean="" nurses="" of="" on="" perceived="" performance="" scale="" score="" sub="" the="" though="" units="" was="" ways="">cal
=8.484, df=221, p<0 .05="" among="" and="" avail="" based="" be="" better="" care.="" clinical="" education="" encouraged="" findings="" for="" improve="" it="" knowledge="" nbsp="" nurses="" nursing="" o:p="" of="" on="" opportunities="" other="" patient="" recommended="" should="" skill="" that="" the="" their="" themselves="" things="" to="" undertake="" university="" was="">

Table of contents
List of tables
List of figures

Background of the study
Statement of the problem
Purpose of the study
Specific objects of the study
Research questions
Significance of the study
Scope of the study
Operational definition of terms

Brief history of Nursing Education (National and International)
Concept of University-based nursing education
Brief history of University-based Nursing education in Nigeria
The Bachelor of Nursing Science (BNSc) programme
Benefits of University-based Nursing Education
Impact of University-based Nursing Education on patient care
Performance of University-based Nurse graduates
The concepts of attitude
The concepts of perception
Theoretical framework to support the study
Empirical review on the study
Summary of literature review

Research design
Area of study
Population of study
Sample size
Inclusion criteria
Sampling technique
Instrument for data collection
Validation of instrument
Reliability of instrument
Ethical consideration
Procedure for data collection
Method of data analysis

Socio-demographic data
Research question one
Research question two
Research question three
Research question four
Testing of hypotheses of the study
Summary of findings

Discussion of demographic data
Discussion of major findings
Summary and conclusion
Suggestions for further studies
Limitation of the study

Background of the Study
Prior to Florence Nightingale the matrix of modern nursing, historical records of nursing worldwide were sparse. The main function of the nurse then was to carry out simple orders as instructed by physicians. Kolleen, Ysanne & Karen, (2010), had it that care delivered by even the physicians in the olden days was more of nursing oriented while nurses themselves were relegated to merely serving of food to patients and administering prescribed medicine and healing liquids. During this period, there was no formal education for nurses and so they were receiving apprenticeship type of training.
Nursing model in Nigeria was borrowed from Europe during the colonial era and nursing then was carried out by interested men and women with no formal education (Uwah, 2010). This is in line with the statement of  Ndukwe  (2000), that nursing in Nigeria was regarded as work of maids and girls of lowest social status with no formal education and this was similar to the pre-Nightingale era in England.
In 1946, the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria laid down some requirements for nursing education with “standard 6” as entry requirement. A more laudable nursing education programme with secondary school certificate as entry requirement was commenced at University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan in 1952. The Nursing Council of England and Wales was then responsible for the training, examination and registration of those nurses. This enhanced the status of nursing profession in Nigeria and the graduates of this programme were perceived differently from those trained at the missionary hospitals whose registration bore “Nigerian Registered Nurses” (NRN) as against “State Registered Nurses” (SRN) for the UCH trained nurses. Different perception about these two groups of nurses in the past was mainly due to difference in their entry requirement, type of programme and certificate obtained at the completion of the programme. In the same way, it is possible that different health professionals mainly the nurses hold different perception about university-based nursing education and or its products since the programme is not of the same duration, entry requirement and qualification as hospital-based nursing programme.
Nursing education in Nigeria at the university level started at University of Ibadan in 1965 (Olubiyi, 2009). The university nursing programme then was a three year course for registered nurses and midwives (RN, RM).  This later gave way to the present programme of Bachelor of Nursing Science (BNSc) degree. Both BScN and BNSc programmes are referred to as university-based nursing programme. The main aim of university-based nursing programme was to produce polyvalent nurses, liberally educated who can function in all areas and all aspects of health and health care of the individual, family and community.  According to Ndie (2010), another reason for opening the B.NSc programme was to ensure that health professionals were trained together under the same environment for the purpose of comprehensive care and team work.
The BNSc (generic programme) did not receive wide acceptance in Nigeria due to the entry requirement of five credits in physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics and English language and the long duration of five years. This accounted for the delay in adoption of the programme by other universities till around 2005 when Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria insisted that the programme recommended by International Council of Nurses (ICN) should be adopted in Nigerian universities (Ndie, 2010). Many members of the society who are used to the image of the nurse as a “hand maiden” resent the idea of having university educated nurses. It is possible that clinical nurses may have varied perception and attitudes about university-based nursing education that has no background of the traditional school of nursing training. A call to change from a traditional method of doing things to a new one is always met with resistance. It is like transferring from a familiar terrain to another full of doubts and uncertainties (Okenyi 2009).
The transformation of hospital-based nursing programme to generic (BNSc) programme met a lot of resistance and complaints from health professionals especially those nurses that received hospital training as opposed to university education (Uwah, 2011). Some of the complaints were that generic students are not practically oriented; the graduates show lack of commitment to service, they regard the senior nurses of hospital training as inferior etc. This supposed attitude of the generic nurses has in no small measure generated a lot of complaints and different perception about both the programme and its products...... 

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