Nursing Education Challenges from Saudi Nurse Educators’ and Leaders’ Perspectives: A Qualitative Descriptive Study

Reem Alghamdi, Monirah Albloushi , Ebtesam Alzahrani, Aisha Aldawsari, Seham Alyousef

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5 Citations (Scopus)
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To explore the challenges in nursing education in Saudi Arabia from nurse educators’ and leaders’ perspectives.

Saudi Arabia considerably lacks Saudi nurses and most nurses in Saudi healthcare facilities are expatriates with diverse academic, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds. The perception regarding nurses’ profession and their low status in Saudi Arabia affect the nursing profession negatively, leading to staff insufficiency. Understanding the difficulties of the nursing profession could help intervene accordingly, in encouraging students to pursue a career in nursing.

An exploratory qualitative method was used. Three Saudi nursing educators and four leaders were interviewed. They were recruited through purposive sampling. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and data were analyzed using thematic analysis.

Participants indicated that nursing education in Saudi Arabia is facing multiple challenges requiring serious attention from Saudi leaders. The challenges were divided to four themes and different categories; cultural challenges, educational challenges, organizational challenges (weak nursing authority, lack of acknowledgement for Saudi nurses), and work challenges (poor working environment, language barrier).

The challenges that face nursing education in Saudi Arabia were mainly at three levels: management, system, and social. These challenges were the reasons for Saudi nurses to leave the profession.

This study revealed some of the challenges facing nursing education in Saudi Arabia. These challenges are not unique to Saudi Arabia but knowing about these challenges will help nurse educators and leaders to improve nursing programs, enhance students’ clinical experiences, and promote nursing profession in Saudi Arabia.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2019


  • challenges; Saudi Arabia; social; nursing education; leaders; image


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