Of totally 597 possible participating students 315 were present at the randomly chosen/visited lectures. All students present were offered to participate and all of them accepted to participate, accordingly the response rate was 100%. However, the response rate in relation to the whole student population was thereby 53% distributed to 18% male students and 82% female students. The students mean age was 27 yrs (a normal mean age for Swedish nursing students) the 1st, 2nd and 3rd semester, 29 yrs 4th semester, 28 yrs 5th semester and 32 yrs the 6th semester. The mean motivation score over all semesters was 6.3.
The motivation score for each semester is shown in Figure . The mean score differed significantly between semesters. The standard deviation for the score value varied from 1.8 – 2.3. The gradation of the students' motivation was not similar during the 6 semesters (p 0,006). During the 1st, 2nd and 3rd semester the mean was 6.7; 6.7; 6.5 respectively, (fig ) and during the 4th, 5th and 6th semester it was 7.4, 5.7; 7.0 respectively (fig ).
The mean motivation score measured in the 1st – 6th term.
When analyzing the explanation from all the students' scoring of the 0–10 scale, the data were analyzed divided into to two parts; motivation score ≤4 and motivation score ≥6 defined as low and high motivation respectively and this is shown in table , . In table the statements are outlined when scoring the motivation ≤4.
Motivation score ≤4, defined as low motivation and the explanations/statements
Motivation score ≥6, defined as high motivation and the explanations/statements
Statements made when justifying low motivation were in most cases; the organization of the program is not stimulating, a negative attitude to the studies, having a bad life situation and an experience of too heavy degree of difficulty/demand on studies.
The outstanding statement for a high motivation score was the students' wish to become a nurse and obtain their degree as registered nurse. At the same time several students found the organization of the program stimulating and they had a positive attitude to the studies. Significantly more explanations were used to a high motivation score (≥6) compared to explanations for a low motivation score (≤4), n 234 and n 73 statements respectively.
The minimum score value differed from 0–4 during the various semesters while the maximum score value was 10 in all semesters when analyzing the whole data.
Grading the motivation score to a maximum of 10 was done by totally 28 out of 315 students. The main reasons for that were the students' longing for working in the nursing profession followed by students' positive attitude to their studies. The lowest grading score, 0 was given by one student. The explanation given was that the choice of the nursing profession was wrong for the student. This student, who had carried out the 5th semester, had not achieved acceptable study results (when checking the amount of credits passed).
The mean score value for the motivation ranking was 5.8 for men and 6.8 for women. When using Mantel's test with semester as the background variable we found significant differences, p 0,0007 between sexes where female were more motivated. Statements mostly given as reason for men's positive motivation score was the students longing for working in the nursing profession, the organization of the program was stimulating and their own study results were good.
When analyzing the importance of a good friendship to fellow-students separately it was given as a positive explanation in 15 cases, where 7 explanations was found in the 2nd semester, n3 in 3rd and 5th semester, n1 in the 1st and 4th semester and no one in the last semester.