Nursing students' experience with clinical placement in nursing homes: a focus group study
Background A renewed interest in nursing homes as clinical placement settings for nursing students has been prompted by the growing healthcare needs of an ageing population. However, if future nurses are to be enthusiastic about working in this healthcare context, it is essential that higher education institutions that educate nurses and nursing homes that provide placement experiences to students do so with a supportive, positive, and enriched approach. Methods To explore first-year nursing
... dents' placement experience in nursing homes, we conducted an exploratory qualitative study in three city-based nursing homes in western Norway. Thirteen first-year nursing students participated in the study. Three focus group interviews were conducted to explore the students' placement experiences. Data were analysed using thematic analysis. The findings were reported using the Standards for Reporting Qualitative Research (SRQR). Results The analysis describes five themes relating to first-year students' placement experience in nursing homes; (1) variations in utility of pre-placement orientation and welcome at placement site; (2) a challenging learning environment; (3) spending considerable placement time with non-registered nurses; (4) considerable variability in supervision practices; and (5) a vulnerable and demanding student role. Conclusions The research provides insight into the contextual characteristics encountered by first-year students that influence the quality of their placement experiences. Consequently, these characteristics impede access to important role models who lend support to a student's growth and professional development, preventing full utilisation of the learning potential offered in nursing homes. Hence, we propose that targeted efforts are warranted to foster positive placement experiences and enhance students' clinical education in nursing homes.