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Nurse link lecturers' perceptions of the challenges facing student nurses in clinical learning environments: A qualitative study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-83
JournalNurse Education in Practice
Early online date24 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018


King's Authors


In the United Kingdom student nurses spend approximately half of their education programme in a practical setting commonly referred to as the Clinical Learning Environment (CLE). The significant amount of time student nurses spend in CLEs, combined with reports of negative experiences, indicate that it is important to consider the challenges of learning within this environment. Nurse Link Lecturers spend up to 20% of their teaching time supporting student nurses in CLEs. Link lecturers' proximity to the CLE means that they are well-placed to articulate the challenges facing student nurses in this context. This paper reports on a study that used interviews and focus groups to collect experienced adult field Link Lecturers' views on the challenges facing student nurses in CLEs. Link Lecturers reported that students often find themselves in polarised positions of either ‘fitting in’ with the pressures of the environment and thereby potentially gaining ‘access to learning’ opportunities or ‘falling out’ and merely ‘learning to get through’ their placement. Mentors were thought to have a significant influence on student nurses' negotiation of learning. This insight is timely due to the changes in supervisory and assessment arrangements required by the new Nursing and Midwifery Council Standards (NMC, 2018).

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