Supporting the struggling nursing student in clinical practice : a qualitative descriptive study.
Thesis DisciplineHealth Sciences
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Health Sciences
Clinical practice experience can be challenging for the undergraduate student nurse. The clinical environment is unfamiliar and consistently changing. They may feel isolated or experience a fear of the unknown, and together with expectations of achieving learning outcomes, the student can feel overwhelmed. There is a paucity of literature in how to support the struggling student nurse in the clinical setting. This research utilised a descriptive design methodology to explore the experiences of 14 clinical lecturers who work alongside student nurses while on their clinical practice component of their nursing education programme. The aim of the research was to identify strategies that can be put in place, to support the struggling student nurse in clinical practice. However, for this aim to be plausible, it was also necessary to explore the issues that face the student in this environment. Findings showed: ineffective communication can be a result of low self-confidence, honest and timely feedback is necessary for personal and professional growth, and a lack of continuity in key clinical relationships can be concerning when a student nurse is having difficulty. Being able to identify early, that a student nurse is struggling and offering the right support, can prevent a failed placement. Hearing the voice of the CL has gained insight into potential clinical practice issues and when equipped with helpful strategies, the student nurse’s learning will be positively supported towards a successful clinical practice experience.