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UBC Theses and Dissertations

How does the nature and duration of teaching experience of a clinical nursing instructor affect the learning outcomes of nursing students enrolled in a nursing program? Hannesson, Teresa Elayne

Abstract

The role of clinical teachers' experience in clinical teaching in nursing and its influence on student learning outcomes has not been widely explored within the nursing literature. Yet this topic is critical in order to provide optimal nursing education that yields safe and competent nurse practitioners. In this research, a qualitative ethnographic design was used to explore the perceptions of novice, experienced, and administrator clinical teachers. Data was collected by the use of focus groups for the novice and experienced groups and personal interviews for the administrator group. Each group consisted of four participants each. The participants were recruited from Schools of Nursing in Saskatchewan and British Columbia. Analysis of the data revealed there are distinct differences between the two groups of clinical instructors. The participants suggested that the experienced instructor is more confident and competent in her/his role, which translates to specific, consistent, and positive successes and outcomes for the students. However, although novices were generally portrayed as anxious, lacking confidence and lacking teaching knowledge, the participants indicated that these instructors contribute positively to student education due to their enthusiasm, energy, recent clinical experience, and current knowledge. They proposed that although the experienced instructor is better equipped with more knowledge, skills and personal qualities, both instructors have attributes that do contribute to the education of nursing students. These findings have implications for nursing education and research. This research has provided insights into how administrators can support both novice and experienced clinical instructors in their practice. Furthermore, this research has revealed how novice and experienced instructors can benefit from the unique contributions each has to make to the other.

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