Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.

Department (Legacy)

Department of Leadership, Foundations, and Human Resource Education

Committee Chair

Miller, Stephen K.

Author's Keywords

Nursing students; Clinical setting


Nursing students


The clinical experience represents a critical component in nursing education. During the clinical, students apply classroom theory to nursing practice and become socialized into the nursing profession. Because of the current nursing shortage, understanding clinical education is vital and may help in retaining and graduating increased numbers from nursing programs (Vollman, 1989). This multiple-case study is grounded in the literature on the history of clinical education and the perspectives of students, faculty teachers, and clinical staff nurses of nursing clinical education. Narratives of the three students clinical experiences were constructed from data from interviews, observations, and document analysis. Data from interviews with the faculty teacher and the clinical staff nurses further informed the cases. From these stories, the within-case and the across-case themes emerged. The Hinshaw Socialization Model (1976, 1986) provided a lens through which the central research question and the subquestions were analyzed. The findings reveal that the students experience similar challenges as cited in the previous literature. However, the students all demonstrate perseverance, determination, and coping, which sustain them during the clinical experience. These concepts were not previously explored in the literature. The nursing students in each case recognize that they are in the transitioning process of becoming a nurse as described by Hinshaw (1977, 1986). These narratives will serve to inform future and prospective nursing students about what to expect from clinical experience and how the three students faced challenges. Additionally, clinical staff nurses and nursing program administrators can benefit from reading the stories of the students' perspectives of the clinical.