Background and aim: Academic engagement is an important indicator of quality of higher education. This study aimed to explain the experiences of undergraduate nursing students in terms of student-related factors affecting academic engagement.
Methods: This qualitative study was conducted in 2017 at Mashhad University of Medical Sciences in Iran. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews and focus groups with 7 and 16 undergraduate nursing students at Mashhad School of Nursing and Midwifery; respectively. Undergraduate nursing students of both genders who enrolled in different academic semesters with various academic achievements were selected. Data were analyzed using conventional content analysis approach proposed by Graneheim and Lundman, with the support of MAXQDA software.
Results: After analyzing the data, 374 initial codes were extracted, which ultimately conceptualized within six main categories including: “learning motivation”, “interest in learning”, “student participation in extracurricular scientific programs”, “self-directedness”, “mental concentration”, and “demonstration of emotions”. 
Conclusion: The findings of this study indicated that student-related factors such as individual motivation and interest, mental concentration, participation in extracurricular activities, and self-directedness in learning, as well as students’ sense of satisfaction with learning could play important roles in the creation of academic engagement in undergraduate nursing students that need to be of interest to nursing educators and planners.


Keywords: Academic success; Engagement, Students, Nursing; Learning, Qualitative research


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