Exploring impacts of student-nurse relationships: Views from across the curriculum

Valerie M. Pauli, Christine Ribbens Grimm, Elizabeth Joffe


Background and objectives: The clinical encounters that student nurses experience during their training make an impressionable impact on their learning. Previous studies have examined the perceptions of staff nurses in serving as preceptors or mentors, but there is limited literature focused on the student experience. This study aims to highlight the student perspective on working with nurse mentors during various levels of their undergraduate nursing program.

Methods: This study applied a qualitative descriptive design. Purposive sampling was conducted among undergraduate nursing students attending a four-year Midwest university. A total of 19 baccalaureate students were interviewed using conversational-style interviews. This included three different focus group sessions; one designated for each level of the program. Nvivo professional services provided verbatim transcription. The data management was supported by Google Docs. The data was analyzed using qualitative thematic analysis.

Results: Four common themes emerged among the focus groups related to the impact of interactions with nurse mentors on student learning; the themes were (1) sense of belonging, (2) helpful staff approaches, (3) burden, and (4) experience with clinical instructor.

Conclusions: The results from this study add important insight into the student perspective on working with staff nurse mentors during their clinical experience. The findings underscore the critical impact these relationships have on student learning throughout their nursing education.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v14n8p1

Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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