Learning to become a nurse: Student's reflections on their clinical experiences

Lynette Stockhausen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    50 Citations (Scopus)


    OBJECTIVE: To expose the significant events undergraduate student nurses reflect on during clinical experiences as they learn to become nurses. DESIGN: A qualitative study using reflective instruments of unstructured debriefing sessions and journal writing. SETTING: Conducted in a tertiary hospital in South-eastern Queensland, Australia. SUBJECTS: Forty voluntarily consenting students were involved. RESULTS: The findings of this study identify that students' interpretation of, and learning in the clinical context is influenced by: an interplay between the patient, registered nurse (RN) and the student's construction of themself as a nurse. Significant to the study and not previously identified is the way students enter the emotive life-world of the patient's experience. The study confirms that the RN makes a considerable difference to the student's experience. Furthermore, students begin to construct a personal identity of becoming a nurse through a process of developing confidence, confirmation of nursing practices and assimilating knowledge. CONCLUSION: Insights into what influences students learning in the clinical setting, how they interpret events and begin to build a repertoire of reflective exemplars provides clinical staff and educators with valuable information to design meaningful clinical learning experiences that will assist students to become nurses.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)8-14
    Number of pages7
    JournalAustralian Journal of Advanced Nursing
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


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