Problems and challenges of nursing students’ clinical evaluation: A qualitative study

Ghazanfar Rafiee, Marzieh Moattari, Alireza Nikbakht N, Javad Kojuri, Masoud Mousavinasab


 Background:The purpose of this qualitative exploratory study was to explore the views of nursing trainers and students about nursing students’ clinical evaluation problems and drawbacks in Shiraz Nursing and Midwifery School.

Materials and Methods: A qualitative exploratory approach was used in this study at Shiraz Nursing and Midwifery School in 2012. A purposeful sample of 8 nursing instructors and 40 nursing students was interviewed and the data on their opinions about the problems of the clinical evaluation were collected through semi-structured deep interviews. Initially, four open-ended questions, which were related to the clinical evaluation status, problems, were used to stimulate discussions in the interview sessions. Content analysis was employed in order to analyze the transcribed data. The recorded interviews were initially transcribed, read, and reread on a number of occasions to get an overall feeling of what the participants were saying. Each line or incident was described, and then a code, which reflected the essence of the participants’ comments, was given.

Results:The codes were compared for similarity and differences, merged together, and categorized. Finally, five themes emerged:In appropriate clinical evaluation method, problems of clinical  valuation Process, problems related to clinical instructors, unsuitable programming of clinical education, and organizational shortcomings.

Conclusion:Besides focusing on upgrading the current clinical evaluation forms, nursing trainers should improve their knowledge about a complete and comprehensive clinical evaluation. They should also apply other appropriate and objective clinical evaluation methods and tools, and perform a formative and summative clinical evaluation. Also, workload adjustment of the nursing trainers needs revision. Therefore, despite using traditional and sometimes limited evaluation methods for assessing nursing students, a comprehensive and appropriate evaluation of nursing students’ clinical competencies seems necessary.Key words: Baccalaureate, challenges, clinical, evaluation, nursing, student, Iran


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