SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • Clinical Learning Environment Inventory;
  • clinical placement;
  • community health care;
  • mental health care;
  • nursing homes;
  • nursing students;
  • survey

Aims and objectives

To explore students' opinions of the learning environment during clinical placement in settings outside traditional hospital settings.

Background

Clinical placement experiences may influence positively on nursing students attitudes towards the clinical setting in question. Most studies exploring the quality of clinical placements have targeted students' experience in hospital settings. The number of studies exploring students' experiences of the learning environment in healthcare settings outside of the hospital venue does not match the growing importance of such settings in the delivery of health care, nor the growing number of nurses needed in these venues.

Design

A survey design was used.

Method

The Clinical Learning Environment Inventory was administered to two cohorts of undergraduate nursing students (n = 184) after clinical placement in mental health care, home care and nursing home care.

Results

Nursing students' overall contentment with the learning environment was quite similar across all three placement areas. Students in mental health care had significantly higher scores on the subscale individualisation, and older students had significantly higher scores on the total scale. Compared with other studies where the Clinical Learning Environment Inventory has been used, the students' total scores in this study are similar or higher than scores in studies including students from hospital settings.

Conclusion

Results from this study negate the negative views on clinical placements outside the hospital setting, especially those related to placements in nursing homes and mental healthcare settings.

Relevance to clinical practice

Students' experience of the learning environment during placements in mental health care, home care and nursing homes indicates the relevance of clinical education in settings outside the hospital setting.