Nursing student perspectives on a quality learning environment in general practice
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Nursing student perspectives on a quality learning environment in general practice

Caroline Donley Practice education facilitator, University of Worcester, England
Kay Norman Principal lecturer adult nursing, Institute of Health and Society, University of Worcester, England

General practice continues to increase in use as a placement area for nursing students in England. Introducing new general practice placements requires intensive preparation to ensure there is a quality learning environment and the placement is successful. A qualitative study used interviews and focus groups to understand nine nursing students’ perspectives of factors that affected their clinical learning experiences in general practice placements. Students identified factors aiding their learning that were congruent with the characteristics of a good clinical learning environment proposed by the Willis Commission (2012). These included nurse mentorship qualities, interdisciplinary practices, opportunities to share learning, being given a new focus and motivation for learning. The findings suggest GP placements can provide a high-quality learning environment, the factors identified enabling the development of analytical decision-making and professional autonomy, which students regarded as being important components of their successful learning in practice. Further investment and support to increase mentor development in general practice will ensure a wider exposure and positive experience in this clinical practice area for nursing students. This may lead to fewer difficulties in recruiting practice nurses in future.

Primary Health Care. doi: 10.7748/phc.2018.e1388


Donley C, Norman K (2018) Nursing student perspectives on a quality learning environment in general practice. Primary Health Care. doi: 10.7748/phc.2018.e1388

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind review and checked for plagiarism using automated software


Conflict of interest

None declared

Published online: 29 May 2018

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