Dyslexia and learning difficulties: nurse mentors’ experiences of students who struggle to learn in the practice environment

Johnson, Linda (2016) Dyslexia and learning difficulties: nurse mentors’ experiences of students who struggle to learn in the practice environment. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

Download (3MB) | Preview


It is thought that dyslexia and learning difficulties affect approximately 10% of the U.K. nursing population. There is a global shortage of nurses which makes a policy of widening participation a prudent recruitment strategy, meaning that this percentage is unlikely to drop even though nursing is now an all degree entry profession.
Nurse mentors are central to the practice learning of student nurses and this equates to 50% of the course requirements. Nurse mentors receive training around disability which incorporates learning difficulties but this tends to be factual. Little is known about how nurse mentors support and work with students who may have a learning difficulty in the clinical setting. The aim of the study was therefore to explore mentors’ experiences with students who have, or may have, a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia.
Using an adapted constructivist grounded theory methodology, 24 nurse mentors were recruited allowing the formulation of a substantive theory to explain mentors’ experiences with these students. This is encapsulated by the phrase ‘To mentors, dyslexia is just spelling’. Three sub-categories are presented to establish the context in which the theory is set, and these are: ‘The practice environment’, ‘The mentor/student relationship’ and ‘Dyslexia and learning difficulties’. Extant literature is used as a resource to further explore issues arising within these categories.
Researcher reflexivity contributed significantly to the research process, providing insight into the researcher’s thinking and the process of theory production.
The research offers contributions to Higher Educational Institutions, NHS Trusts, all levels of the nursing workforce, and to students who have, or may have a learning difficulty. Recommendations for practice centre on promoting knowledge and understanding of dyslexia and learning difficulties in the practice environment so that cultures supportive of students with these difficulties are encouraged.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education and Lifelong Learning
Depositing User: Users 4971 not found.
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2017 17:50
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2017 17:50
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/62665

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item