Promoting student learning and increasing organizational capacity to host students in residential aged care: A mixed method research study

Laurie Grealish, James NEILL, Carmel MCQUELLIN, Rachel BACON, Franziska Trede

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Background: In Australia, the Federal government's agenda to increase clinical training places to address the forecast shortfall of nurses is driving innovation in clinical education. A student leadership model of clinical education, named the Student Nurse Led Ward model, was designed for the aged care context to provide a high number of clinical placements for pre-service Bachelor of Nursing students in an under-utilized clinical education setting.

Objectives: The research aimed to determine the viability of the innovation by (1) developing a preliminary understanding of what students were learning and (2) exploring stakeholders' perceptions about student learning.

Design: A mixed methods design included an ageing knowledge test and ageing attitudes survey, both administered before and after the placement, student narratives of a learning event written after the placement as well as focus group and individual interviews with stakeholders.

Setting: Three residential aged care facilities partnering with one university in one Australian jurisdiction.

Participants: Included 35 of the 45 students who began placement in the aged care facilities during one semester, a convenience sample of 15 staff and each of the managers and educators from the three agencies.

Methods: Descriptive statistical analysis of student pre-post knowledge test and attitude survey, hermeneutic analysis of student narratives, and content analysis of individual and group interview data.

Results: There was an increase in student knowledge around sensory changes, delirium, and drug reactions in older people. There was a slight increase in students' expression of ageist attitudes following the clinical experience. The clinical educator position was considered to be critical to the success of the model.

Conclusions: This Student Nurse Led Ward model is a viable model to increase clinical placements, with preliminary evidence in this study suggesting that students benefit through increased knowledge, understanding and capacity to work with older people
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)714-719
Number of pages6
JournalNurse Education Today
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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