Background. The use of standardized questionnaires for measuring student satisfaction in higher education is motivated by theories predicting a close relationship between students' satisfaction and learning outcomes. The reliability and validity of the Course Experience Questionnaire as an indicator of teaching performance have been established by factor analysis in earlier studies from several countries. The Nursing Clinical Facilitators Questionnaire has been used for measuring satisfaction with clinical practice.
Aims. The aims of this study were (1) to find out how satisfied nursing students in their last semester were with their clinical practice and the nursing programme as a whole, and (2) to measure the reliability and validity of the two standardized questionnaires.
Methods. The data were collected using the two standard questionnaires, combined with some background items, in a survey design. Exploratory factor analysis was performed.
Findings. A total of 276 nursing students from three university colleges in Western Norway answered the questionnaire in 1999/2000. The scores indicated slight overall dissatisfaction with the nursing programme, but general satisfaction with clinical practice. Furthermore, 70% of the students who expressed dissatisfaction with the quality of the nursing programme were nevertheless satisfied with clinical practice. The broad constituent structure of the Course Experience Questionnaire was replicated, with some deviation for the appropriate assessment scale. The Nursing Clinical Facilitators Questionnaire turned out to have two subscales, representing supportive and challenging behaviour, with satisfactory internal reliability.
Conclusion. Annual evaluations using the two standardized questionnaires may result in greater focus being given to students' satisfaction with the nursing programmes and clinical practice in Norwegian nursing education departments. Comparative studies with the same instruments in other countries would also be of interest.