Enhancing healthcare students’ clinical placement experiences
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Enhancing healthcare students’ clinical placement experiences

Ruth Pearce Head of education, School of Nursing, Allied Health Professionals and Midwifery, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, England
Anne Topping Professor of nursing and head of school, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, England
Carol Willis Head of pre-registration education, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To learn about a project that explored healthcare students’ experiences of clinical placements

  • To understand some of the factors that can affect the quality of clinical placements

  • To recognise the potential benefits of student-led clinical learning environments

Over the past few years, efforts to address a shortage of nurses in the UK has led to an increase in nursing student numbers. However, in one large UK healthcare trust, this increase in student numbers led to a need to improve the quality of the trust’s clinical placements. To address this issue, the authors undertook a quality improvement project, in which focus groups were used to enable 53 nursing, allied health professional, midwifery and nursing associate students to have in-depth discussions about their clinical placement experiences in the trust. Three main themes emerged from the data: being part of a team; support; and being unprepared. Following the project, the trust introduced student-led clinical learning environments to provide an innovative practice-based experience for students.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2022.e11887

Peer review

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




Conflict of interest

None declared

Pearce R, Topping A, Willis C (2022) Enhancing healthcare students’ clinical placement experiences. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2022.e11887

Published online: 14 March 2022

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