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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Attitudes of staff nurses toward nursing students and influencing factors Tyson, Florence M.


Clinical learning experiences are an essential component of nursing education. A literature review revealed a considerable amount of anecdotal literature addressing the effect of the clinical milieu on student learning and numerous studies of nursing students' perceptions about their clinical experiences. However, there were no studies which addressed staff nurses' perceptions about working with students. Because staff nurses play a significant role in students' clinical experiences, this descriptive study was designed to assess their attitudes toward students and the factors that might influence them. A model of role adapted from Kahn et al.(1964) was used to guide the study. Sixty-four medical and/or surgical staff nurses participated in the study. A questionnaire developed by the researcher was used to collect the data. The data were analyzed quantitatively, with data from open-ended responses being subjected to content analysis to form meaning categories. The data revealed that staff nurse attitudes were positive and there were factors which contributed to their positive attitudes. For example, they enjoyed teaching students and the assistance students provided. Despite their positiveness, staff nurses expressed concerns. They had concerns about such things as the unavailability of teachers, patient safety, and disruptions in their work when students were on the units. Participants identified organizational factors, such as patient acuity and staffing, that limited the amount of time they had to spend with students. They were required to work with a variety of students from different programs and many were uncertain about their role in working with students. The study findings have implications for nursing education, service, and research related to the clinical aspect of students' education and staff nurse roles in that education.

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