Student nurses in clinical practice : Studies on independence, assessment and performance

Sammanfattning: The overall aim of this research project was to describe student nurses' learning during clinicalpractice. One group of students (n= 60) was randomly selected from two colleges and followedduring their three-year nursing education. Cross sectional studies using assessment forms,questionnaires, diaries and a simulated video-taped clinical assessment were done. The resultsshowed that students estimated their independence of supervision to be high bath in the beginningand at the end of clinical practice, whereas their opportunities to practise different tasks varied. Inthe assessment of patients' needs the students showed close similarities with the patients and thenurses, their supervisors, but with both over- and underestimation and uncertainty. Ten out ofthirty-two students handled a general nursing care situation adequately and systematically at theend of their nursing education. In weekly diaries during the final clinical practice the students gaveexamples of a variety of factors which facilitated or obstructed their learning. A separate group ofstudents and nurses used an assessment form during a period of clinical practice. They found thegreater part of the assessment areas important, even though some were considered difficult toassess, but in general the assessment form was found valuable for discussions concerning thestude nts' progress.The results from these studies implicate that the students need support to work independently and systematically to identify patients' needs. The placements where students get their clinical practice need to be scrutinised to reduce obstructing factors for learning and promote facilitating factors. An assessment form may contribute to clarifying the content and goals of clinical education.

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