The effect of interpersonal relationships between nursing students and lecturers on learning outcomes at a Jamaican nursing school

Positive interpersonal relationships between nursing lecturers and their students form a very important part of the learning environment creating motivation for students to learn. This study was designed to determine the types of interpersonal relationships that existed between nursing students and lecturers at an urban Jamaican nursing school and their effect on learning outcomes.

A correlational study of 192 students enrolled in a 3-year undergraduate nursing program in urban Jamaica was conducted. Participants completed a 38-item questionnaire on their interpersonal relationships with nursing lecturers and their perceptions of the effects on students’ grades, grade point averages (GPAs) and the development of critical thinking skills. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was used to compare mean scores given for interpersonal relationships with lecturers among the groups across the 3 years. Pearson’s correlation coefficient was used to determine the associations between interpersonal relationship scores and students’ learning outcomes.

Respondents (n=176) were between the ages of 18 to 41 years (mean age23.15±4.48 years) and 99% was female. Equal proportions of students (41%) assigned low scores (below 20) and moderate scores (20 to 24) to their rating of their interpersonal relationships with nursing lecturers while 18% assigned high scores (25 to 30). An association was noted between the students ratings of interpersonal relationships with lecturers and their reported use of critical thinking skills (r=0.360, p<0.01). Year One students who rated the relationship as high, achieved grades B and above; however, this trend did not hold for Year Two or Year Three students.

The rating of interpersonal relationships between students and lecturers was associated with learning outcomes in Year One but not in Years Two and Three. Among all year groups, the quality of interpersonal relationships shared with lecturers was associated with the student’s perception of his/her increased critical thinking skills.

Publication Year: 
Caribbean Journal of Nursing 1 (1): 39-46
Critical Thinking
Interpersonal Relationship
Learning Outcomes
Nursing Education
Nursing Faculty
Undergraduate Nursing Students