Factors that influence the clinical learning experience of nursing students at a Caribbean school of nursing



Background: Awareness of any issue that may affect the learning process of nursing students in the clinical area is essential to ensure that maximum benefits are gained from this aspect of nursing education. Factors which influenced learning in the clinical area among students at a school of nursing located in urban Jamaica were studied.


Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study with stratified random sampling of 149 Year 2 and Year 3 students enrolled in a three-year baccalaureate nursing programme was conducted. Data were collected using a 30-item self-administered questionnaire and analysed using SPSS version 17® for Windows®.


Results: All selected participants in Year 3 and 70.3% of Year 2 recruits, participated in the study; mean age was 23.9 ± 4.52 years (range 19-42 years) and 98.4% were females. The majority of the students, identified preceptorship (89.6%), support from the clinical staff (78.4%), ratio of preceptor to students (74.8%) and the quality of pre-clinical conferences (63.8%) as having the greatest impact on learning. Over 70% of students indicated that the type of interpersonal relationships they had with the clinical staff and preceptors affected their learning experiences. Most (75.8%) of the participants were of the opinion that there were reasons to be anxious in the clinical area.


Conclusions: Positive interpersonal relationships and the use of demonstration and return demonstration were identified as being influential to learning in the clinical area. These factors should inform the teaching of nursing students through preceptorship in the clinical area.


Lawal, J., Weaver, S., Bryan, V., & Lindo, J. L.

Publication Year: 
Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 6(4), 32
Nursing students
Learning experience
Clinical area
Clinical staff