Background: Despite the fact that high quality clinical placement is an integral component of pre-registration nursing education for the development of the future nursing workforce, the literature identifies an ongoing struggle to 'get it right'. Objective: To examine qualitative data gathered through the Quality Clinical Placements Evaluation project to identify what pre-registration nursing students deemed helpful and not helpful influences on their first year Professional Experience Placement. Design: A total of 553 first year undergraduate nursing students from 2010 to 2012 were enrolled in the programme and all were invited to complete a validated survey to measure the quality of their first clinical placement. A total of 361 completed surveys were returned. This paper examines the data provided through open-ended questions within the survey related to most helpful and least helpful aspects of their clinical experience. Methods: An inductive analysis approach using NVIVO allowed inherent areas to emerge from the raw data forming three key themes that influenced the experience of students. Results: Feeling welcomed, individual versus team attitudes, and student expectations of supervising ward nurses were the themes identified that were perceived by the student as important to the success of learning and the quality of the experience overall. Conclusion: The findings echo previous research into the student experience of clinical placement; however the focus regarding the need for students to have a quality relationship with the supervising nurse is an area that warrants further exploration. Furthermore, we argue that students should be purposely engaged in the tertiary sector and provided guidance and strategies related to forming and maintaining relationships with those that supervise their clinical placement, in order to ensure consistent positive experiences. The outcomes from this study suggest that a missing component is teaching undergraduates how to manage relationships in clinical settings.
Cooper, J., Courtney-Pratt, H., & Fitzgerald, G. (2015). Key influences identified by first year undergraduate nursing students as impacting on the quality of clinical placement: a qualitative study. Nurse Education Today, 35(9), 1004-1008. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2015.03.009