The Role of Social Support in the Success and Retention of Undergraduate Nursing Students
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There is a shortage in the overall number of nurses in the United States. Additionally, there is a need to increase the diversity of the nursing workforce to improve the delivery of culturally competent care. As one method of minimizing this shortage and increasing the number of nurses from diverse backgrounds, efforts need to be made to improve the retention of nursing students in their program of study. The presence of quality social support has been identified as a buffer to the stresses of attending college while the lack of social support has been linked to voluntary withdrawal and academic failure. There is very little nursing research that addresses the interrelation of social support, program interventions and student success and retention. Additionally the concept of social support as it pertains to the nursing student is not well defined. This paper presents a review of the current and classic literature, an exploration of the concept of social support as it pertains to nursing students and recommendations for research and for nurse educators.