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Australian nursing students’ clinical experiences in residential aged care: Reports from nurse academics

Published:September 03, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.colegn.2022.06.003

      Abstract

      Background

      Nurses are the largest group of registered healthcare professionals and are fundamental to delivering health and aged care in Australia.

      Aim

      To explore how nursing students report clinical experiences when caring for older people as part of a larger study investigating how care of the older person content is included in Australian undergraduate nursing curricula.

      Methods

      A population sample of all Australian nursing schools that offered a Bachelor of Nursing degree (n = 35) in 2019. Nurse academics involved in curriculum development or delivery were recruited. A telephone-assisted survey was used, and qualitative content analysis undertaken.

      Results

      All schools of nursing participated in the survey, representing a response rate of 100%. The acute care focus of nursing curricula meant clinical experiences for nursing students related to older person's care commonly occurred in residential aged care facilities in the first year of the degree. Student reports of these experiences varied, with a majority of respondents reporting mixed or negative feedback associated with a lack of preparation and inadequate supervision.

      Conclusions

      This study highlights the: significance of the timing of nursing students’ clinical placements in residential aged care; the selection of appropriate care homes; and the need for the right clinical teaching staff who can supervise high quality learning experiences for students.

      Keywords

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