Perceptions and Motivations of Associate Degree Nursing Students Engaged in Peer Mentoring and Tutoring through Supplemental Instruction
High attrition rates in associate degree nursing (ADN) programs contribute significantly to a nursing shortage in the United States that is expected to worsen. Nursing students find the learning environment stressful, intimidating, and overwhelming, leading to discouragement in the first year of their nursing education. Research is needed to identify specific retention strategies that can offer ADN students additional support and promote academic success. This study aimed to explore first-semester ADN nursing students’ experiences with peer mentoring and peer tutoring provided through supplemental instruction (SI). A basic qualitative study was conducted, and participants’ descriptions of their experiences participating in SI were documented using semi-structured interviews. The findings indicated that students feel SI is a positive experience, but improvement is needed. Exposure to different perspectives through peer mentoring and tutoring improved students’ understanding of course material. Stronger peer relationships created consistency for students. Peer mentoring boosted self-confidence among first-semester students, and attendance at SI sessions increased persistence. The findings support the use of peer mentoring to offer academic assistance to first-semester ADN students.