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Social Barriers Experienced by Saudi Female Nursing Students while Studying Nursing

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posted on 31.08.2017, 02:32 by Muna Alharbi
Background: In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, social barriers to nursing may influence views towards nursing discipline. If these continue, percentages of Saudi nurses will remain lower than foreign nurses, which is incompatible with effective Saudi patient care and the Saudisation program.
Aim: To explore the lived experience of Saudi female nursing students of the social barriers related to studying nursing in order to develop understanding of this phenomena.
Method: Hermeneutic phenomenology guided by Van Manen’s six activities underpinned the study. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight students from one university in Saudi Arabia. Data were thematically analysed.
Finding: Two main themes emerged: ‘dealing with social factors’ which incorporated five subthemes family satisfaction, societal views, religious beliefs, transportation and English language. The second theme was ‘social support’ which involved four subthemes: support from close people, faculty staff and peer support, hospital personnel and patient support, and social media support.
Conclusion: Overall, the findings of this research indicate that Saudi female nursing students faced some social barriers but were generally able to overcome them, especially when they received effective social support to motivate them during their studies. Therefore, it is important to understand the social factors and experiences that may act as barriers to students completing their nursing studies. This can help in the recruitment and retention of nursing students and the design of supportive programs to facilitate their studies.


Principal supervisor

Lisa McKenna

Additional supervisor 1

Dawn Whittall

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Nursing and Midwifery

Campus location



Master of Nursing

Degree Type



Faculty of Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences

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