Background. The administration of medication is an important skill nursing students need to learn in the clinical setting to develop safe practices. Legally within Queensland, registered nurses are required to provide personal supervision for this process. Research undertaken by the authors suggests the supervision students receive frequently falls short of what is legally required.
Aims and objectives. The aim of the study was to examine the factors that influence the experiences of final-year undergraduate nursing students when administering medications in the clinical setting.
Design. A grounded theory approach was used with constant comparative analysis to identify categories from the data.
Methods. The experiences of final-year nursing students were explored using a grounded theory approach. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 28 final-year undergraduate nursing students in Queensland, Australia.
Results. Supervision was found to be the central issue influencing medication administration for students. Three main factors were identified as influencing the supervision provided by registered nurses: attitudes of the registered nurse, communication from the university, and busyness and having time.
Conclusions. The extent to which registered nurses provide direct supervision to nursing students when administering medication is influenced by factors inherent within the clinical environment.
Relevance to clinical practice. The factors influencing the supervision provided by registered nurses needs further exploration that effective strategies can be implemented to ensure safe practices in relation to medication administration can be implemented.