Integration of nursing students into the clinical setting is a critical component of undergraduate nursing education. Currently, evaluation of the clinical placement experience is informal and has focused on the nursing student, making it difficult to analyse strengths and weaknesses of the process. We developed a Clinical Nurse Evaluation Survey (CNES) to assess the experience of the registered nurses (RNs) responsible for mentoring students during their clinical placement. This feedback was imperative to enhance future developments in clinical placements for academia, student nurses and Registered Nurses.
Historically, clinical placement feedback has been collected in an informal and anecdotal manner, making it difficult to improve learning in clinical placements with constructive changes. A literature search revealed a lack of suitable tools to seek feedback from RNs in clinical settings. This led to the development of a tool to gain feedback from clinical RNs in a consistent, formal, constructive manner.
The CNES was launched, via an electronic link, to all clinical areas at the DHB where nursing students were on clinical placement. Ninety RNs responded to the survey. Quantitative and qualitative information was analysed and themes were extracted. This enabled the researchers to better identify strengths and areas for development to promote and enhance an optimal teaching learning clinical environment.
Listening to the clinical voice and acting on feedback enhances the integration of student nurses into clinical settings. The CNES tool helped to improve the transition from student nurse to becoming a “work ready” Registered Nurse.
Key words: nursing students; Registered Nurse feedback; enhanced clinical learning.