The experiences of nursing students with dyslexia
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The experiences of nursing students with dyslexia

Caroline Ridley Senior lecturer, Adult nursing, School of Health, Psychology and Social Care, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester

Aim To explore the experiences of pre-registration nursing students with dyslexia at one university.

Method Qualitative methodology was used and semi-structured interviews were carried out with a convenience sample of seven students with formally diagnosed dyslexia. Data were analysed using a thematic network approach.

Findings Fear of ridicule and discrimination exist for nursing students with dyslexia, and delays in identification, referral and testing may adversely affect learning. A sense of duty to disclose dyslexia is linked to students’ determination to safeguard those in their care, although there is confusion about the nature of disclosure by the university to lecturers and practice colleagues. Students are acutely self-aware although not all feel disabled by dyslexia. Requirements for support relate to personal attributes, knowledge and perception. A perceived lack of caring in the profession for nurses with dyslexia is of concern.

Conclusion Early diagnosis of dyslexia enables the provision of appropriate support. Support should be tailored to individuals’ needs. Disclosure can cause anxiety, and the attitude of educators and clinical colleagues towards students with dyslexia affects students’ experiences. Students with dyslexia are aware of their professional responsibilities. Professional and legislative guidance provides information for those working with students who have a disability.

Nursing Standard. 25, 24, 35-41. doi: 10.7748/ns2011.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review