All in a day's work : student nurses' perceptions of their clinical learning experiences in a corporate workplace context
Introduction: Exposure to the clinical learning environment forms an essential part of nursing education. Individual student perceptions of this multi-dimensional context can greatly influence their clinical learning experiences. Insight into these perceptions may assist nurse educators in facilitating optimal learning outcomes. Aim: The aim of this study was to promote an awareness of the possible impact of various aspects of the clinical learning environment and nursing students’ perceptions thereof, on their learning experiences; and to generate guidelines for facilitating optimal learning outcomes. Methods: A qualitative, interpretive study, investigating nine individual second-year nursing students, was undertaken in a private hospital in South Africa. Interview transcripts were thematically analyzed. Results: Four themes and eleven sub-themes emerged, highlighting the impact of student nurses’ perceptions of the various aspects of the clinical learning environment on their learning experiences. Discussion: The impact of students’ perceptions of the clinical learning environment on their learning experiences is discussed. Recommendations are provided for measures to increase the focus on student-centered learning in the selected clinical context. Conclusion: The challenge remains to best prepare students for the complexities and dynamics of the workplace learning environment, while at the same time modifying this environment to effectively meet students’ learning needs.