The Effect of Social Contingencies on Nursing Students’ Reactions During a Rural Clinical Placement

Ronald Kerr, Brian Hemmings, Russell Kay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
67 Downloads (Pure)


Students' feedback of their practicum experiences are typically documented only in terms of established nursing competencies and learning objectives. How nursing students cope with social contingencies (e.g., personal health) while away on clinical placement is not commonly reported in the literature. A sample of Australian student nurses was surveyed as a way of contributing new knowledge about what and how social contingencies could impact on a practicum experience. An analysis of the survey data provided by 244 students revealed that of the 14 contingencies used, financial pressure, accommodation, and geographic location, were rated as having the most influence. All of these social contingencies were examined by a principal components analysis. Three factors were identified and interpreted as professional organization, home organization, and personal organization. Three subscales were then derived using these factors and other measures were also calculated. Bivariate and multivariate relationships were subsequently determined. One key finding was that the first year students, compared to their more senior counterparts, expressed less stress during their practicum. The first year students, as opposed to their more experienced peers, also attached less importance to the professional organizational contingencies. The implications of the study for university administrators, nursing education faculty, and managers of clinical facilities conclude the paper.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


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