Title of ArticleEnabling nursing students to have a voice in designing a learning resource to support their participation in a clinical placement
Type of ArticleOriginal Practice Development and Research
Author/sMaria Mackay, Carley Jans, Jan Dewing, Alicia Congram, Louise Hoogenboom, Tanya King, Daniel Kostiainen and Ionna McCarthy
ReferenceVolume 11, Issue 2, Article 4
Date of PublicationNovember 2021
KeywordsClinical placement, emotional preparation, person-centred curricula, student-led, supervision, values

Background: There appears to be a gap in the literature with regard to nursing students’ participation  in designing learning resources to prepare them for the reality of clinical placements. In addition, the existing research on preparation focuses on skills competency and overlooks the emotional preparation required to navigate the practice context, while preparation of early-year students is not prioritised.

Aim: This study had two aims: to provide nursing students with processes and tools to give them a voice in the development of learning resources to prepare for clinical placement; and to address some of the power imbalances between nursing students and clinical supervisors.

Methods: This action research study was undertaken collaboratively with students and academic staff as co-researchers and was underpinned by the theoretical perspectives of transformational learning and person-centredness. It used a range of creative methods, such as workshops, critical creativity and critical dialogue.

Conclusion: Emotional connection and vulnerability were found to enhance healthful (supervisory) relationships. The co-researchers developed a Student-Led Conversation Form and a process to support students to undertake and lead a conversation with their clinical supervisors and create shared values. Significantly, emotional preparation for clinical placements was found to be important for nursing students facing the reality of practice.

Implications for practice:

  • Innovative approaches to curriculum development are enabled when academic staff authentically engage with nursing students
  • First-year nursing students experience a sense of empowerment when they engage in student-led learning
  • Person-centred learning requires academic staff and nursing students to be challenged to develop emotional literacy skills

This article by Maria Mackay, Carley Jans, Jan Dewing, Alicia Congram, Louise Hoogenboom, Tanya King, Daniel Kostiainen and Ionna McCarthy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 3.0 License.

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