The effect of nursing staff on student learning in the clinical setting
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The effect of nursing staff on student learning in the clinical setting

Alanna Webster Nurse, Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Caitlin Bowron Nurse, McMaster Children’s Hospital, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Nancy Matthew-Maich Professor, Nursing, Mohawk College, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Priscilla Patterson Professor, Nursing, Mohawk College, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Aim To explore baccalaureate nursing students’ perspectives of the influence of nursing staff on their learning and experience in the clinical setting.

Method A qualitative description approach was used. Thirty nursing students were interviewed individually or in focus groups. Data were analysed using content analysis. Four researchers analysed the data separately and agreed on the themes.

Findings Nursing staff had positive (enabling) and negative (hindering) effects on students’ clinical learning and socialisation to nursing. Nursing staff may encourage and excite students when they behave as positive mentors, facilitators and motivators. However, their actions may also have a negative effect on students, decreasing their confidence, learning and desire to continue in the profession.

Conclusion Nursing staff influence student learning. Their actions, attitude and willingness to teach are influential factors. The findings have implications for patient safety, nurse retention and recruitment, and preparing students for professional practice.

Nursing Standard. 30, 40,40-47. doi: 10.7748/ns.30.40.40.s44

Correspondence

nancy.maich@mohawkcollege.ca

Peer review

All articles are subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software.

Received: 12 November 2014

Accepted: 20 March 2015