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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Undergraduate nursing students' experience in the clinical learning environment since COVID-19 in British Columbia Sferrazza, Krista


Background: The clinical learning environment (CLE) is the experiential learning component of an undergraduate baccalaureate nursing program. Many clinical environment factors, such as the learning space, instructor, peers, and atmosphere, contribute to positive or negative experiences for students. In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic halted students’ presence in the CLEs and Schools of Nursing were tasked with providing alternate learning experiences for their students. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to gain insight into nursing students’ perceived quality of their CLE experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Psychometric evaluation of the CLES+T Scale for use in Canada was conducted. Methods: A retrospective, cross-sectional, exploratory study design was used to survey undergraduate baccalaureate nursing students at nine Schools of Nursing throughout British Columbia. An online survey was circulated to potential participants who were learning in the CLE prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic (January 2020 to March 2020 and March 2020 until June 2020). The online survey included demographic questions, CLES+T Scale questions and open-ended questions. Participants were asked to report their experiences in the CLE before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. After evaluating psychometric properties of the CLES+T Scale using exploratory factor analysis and internal consistency, paired t-test analyses were conducted to decipher if there was a statistically significant difference in participants’ quality of experiences before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Qualitative data was reviewed from open-ended responses to interpret and corroborate quantitative findings. Results: Our psychometric evaluation of the CLES+T Scale revealed a 29 item five factor model which explained 67% of the total variance. Overall and subscale Cronbach alpha values ranged from 0.775 to 0.938 indicating high internal consistency reliability. Paired t-test results reported iv no statistically significant difference in perceived quality of CLE prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Implications: Implications of our findings are multifold. Our findings support the importance of continued clinical instructor development and can be useful in supporting healthcare organizations in promoting a culture of learning and teaching among their staff and within their organization. A Canadian version of the CLES+T Scale has been psychometrically evaluated for further widespread use in Canada.

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