Are we preparing nursing students for the reality of the clinical practice setting?

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Abstract

Clinical experience is an essential element of undergraduate nursing programs. Clinical laboratories are a common approach to learning, aiming to assist students to develop clinical nursing skills through simulation of the clinical setting and experiences. However little research has been conducted into the effectiveness of clinical laboratory classes for student learning and whether the laboratory classes actually play a part in linking theory to practice. The focus of this study is to investigate the experiences of a cohort of first year Bachelor of Nursing students during their first clinical placement in small rural hospitals. The objective of the research is to identify if there is a correlation between what the students learnt in clinical laboratory classes before their first clinical placement and what they practiced and observed in the clinical setting. The intent was to determine if the clinical laboratory classes helped the students to integrate theory and practice in the clinical nursing setting. When students embark on their first clinical placement they may experience dissonance between the academic ideal of nursing practice and the reality of the clinical setting. There are many factors that impact on the degree of satisfaction felt by students on clinical placement. These include a feeling of acceptance into the clinical setting, friendliness of staff, feeling like part of a team, 'hands 'on' practice to develop competence and the development of confidence. The students were asked to complete a questionnaire following their placement, write a reflective journal of their clinical experience and participate in reflective post placement focus groups. This study will inform the pedagogy of clinical nursing laboratories and examine whether the disparity between theory and practice does in fact exist in this case.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTeaching and research
Subtitle of host publicationMaking the connection in health science
EditorsLyn Croxon
Place of PublicationAdelaide, Australia
PublisherUniversity of South Australia
Pages12-25
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781920927820
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventHealth Sciences Conference - Adelaide, Australia, Australia
Duration: 08 Nov 200709 Nov 2007

Conference

ConferenceHealth Sciences Conference
CountryAustralia
Period08/11/0709/11/07

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  • Cite this

    Croxon, L., & Maginnis, C. (2008). Are we preparing nursing students for the reality of the clinical practice setting? In L. Croxon (Ed.), Teaching and research: Making the connection in health science (pp. 12-25). University of South Australia.