Title page for ETD etd-10062006-153636

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Hathorn, Donna Coffey
Author's Email Address dhathorn@selu.edu
URN etd-10062006-153636
Title The Lived Experience of Nurses Working with Student Nurses in the Acute Care Clinical Environment
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Human Resource Education Workforce Development
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Krisanna Machtmes Committee Chair
Earl Johnson Committee Member
Gerri Johnson Committee Member
Michael Burnett Committee Member
Timothy Page Dean's Representative
  • ethical dilemmas
  • horizonalization
  • nurse practice act
  • triangulating analyst
  • job satisfaction
  • synthesis
  • imaginative variation
  • reduction
  • epoche
  • motivation
  • incentives
  • role theory
  • professional socialization
Date of Defense 2006-08-29
Availability unrestricted
The purpose of this phenomenological qualitative study was to describe the lived experience of nursesí who work with baccalaureate student nurses in the acute care clinical environment. Because of the nursing shortage nursing education is challenged with equipping a safe qualified workforce while preventing or reducing student attrition. Students may choose to leave the profession or receive less than optimal learning experiences when exposed to negative socialization behaviors of nurses while in the clinical environment. Findings from this study can be used to foster collaboration between nursing education and nursing service in the development of positive clinical environments for nurses and nursing students.

The methodology used for data collection was one-time, in-depth semi-structured informal audio taped interviews of staff nurses who worked with student nurses in an acute clinical setting. Saturation of the data was determined after six interviews. Data analysis was conducted according to the modified van Kaam method. The following themes emerged: beliefs about nursing education, role expectations, communication structure, motivational factors, deterrent factors, and professional socialization attitudes.

Findings from this study revealed that nursing education and service should establish more effective communication between staff nurses by providing them with job descriptions and role expectations while working with students. Staff nurses also need to be informed of the studentís learning objectives, and competencies. Staff nurses need to be empowered to change the clinical environment and resolve conflicts that may arise as a result of having students in their work environment. Most importantly the staff nurses need to be educated about their legal liability and responsibilities when working with students. Students should also be informed of their legal responsibility for nursing practice before attending a clinical course.

Implications for research are to increase qualitative and quantitative studies on staff nurses who work with baccalaureate student nurses in all areas of clinical practice. Studies related to the nursesí educational preparation and faculty perceptions of staff nurses working with students are needed. Future research is also needed on the effects that clinical practice models used in baccalaureate nursing education and collaborative educational reforms have on nurses, students, and faculty.

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