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Keywords:

  • clinical education;
  • grounded theory;
  • student–educator relationship

Abstract

Aim

The student–educator relationship is an educational tool in nursing education and has long-lasting influence on the professional development of nursing students. Currently, this relationship in clinical settings is different from that in the past due to a paradigm shift in nursing education and its emphasis on the centrality of the relationship.

Methods

The purpose of this grounded theory study was to explore the continuity of the student–educator relationship in the Iranian context of clinical nursing education. Ten bachelor nursing students and 10 clinical educators at Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Iran, were selected through purposive and theoretical sampling. The data were collected through semi-structured interviews and participant observation. Interviews were transcribed verbatim, and data analysis was done through open, axial, and selective coding, using MAXQDA ver. 2007 qualitative data analysis software.

Results

The core category emerging from the data analysis was “seeking a progressive relationship for learning”. Other major categories linked to and embraced within this core category were: “creating emotional connection”, “trying to continue the relationship chain”, and “adapting the behaviors”.

Conclusion

The findings indicated that in the Iranian sociocultural context, students and educators gain some action/interaction strategies for continuity of their relationship. It is obvious that the role of the nursing clinical educators and their relationship skills are critical in the relationship continuity of clinical settings.