Exploring the contribution of clinical placement to student learning: A sequential mixed methods study

Tracey Moroney, Marie Gerdtz, Naomi Brockenshire, Phil Maude, Jennifer Weller-Newton, Deborah Hatcher, Luke Molloy, Moria Williamson, Robyn Woodward-Kron, Elizabeth Molloy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Increasing demand and limited supply of clinical placements in nursing underscore the need to
better understand the role of clinical placements in students' learning. Identifying pedagogically rich activities
that support work place learning alongside factors that influence educational outcomes has the potential to
optimise professional placement experiences.
Objective: To explore student nurses perceptions of the value of nursing clinical placements to their learning.
Design and methods: A descriptive research design was employed using a sequential mixed method approach. A
cross-sectional student survey captured students' perceptions of work integrated learning based on the perceived
contribution of a pre-determined list of activities undertaken on clinical placement.
Setting and participants: Four Australian universities took part. Participants included students undertaking entry
to practice programs.
Results: Four hundred and sixty-nine students completed the survey. Thirty-eight students participated in 12
focus groups. Participants rated PRA including interacting and time with patients and performing assessments as
the most useful activities. Less useful, were activities that took them away from the patient.
Conclusions: To maximise workplace learning, consideration must be given to ensuring students are presented
with goal directed activities that support learning and are focused on an expanding scope of practice with opportunities
to discuss and engage with staff.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105379
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalNurse Education Today
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes


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