- Journal of Nursing Education
- July 2012 - Volume 51 · Issue 7: 389-395
This study describes the characteristics of successful and unsuccessful clinical performance in prelicensure nursing students. Clinical evaluation is an important role of nurse educators; however, many feel uncomfortable with its subjective nature, and commonly used criteria for successful and unsuccessful clinical performance are not available in the literature. Using a qualitative descriptive design, we analyzed telephone interviews with 24 nurse educators. Educators indicated successful students were positive and eager to learn, built relationships, communicated well, think critically, prepared for the clinical experience and showed progress, accepted feedback, and adapted to the clinical setting. Unsuccessful students were unprepared for the clinical experience, were unable to function in the clinical area, were unsafe, violated legal–ethical principles, and had difficulty with communication skills. Specific characteristics differentiated students who are considered satisfactory in the clinical area and those who are not. These behaviors may identify students at risk of failure in clinical courses.
Dr. Lewallen is Associate Professor, and Dr. DeBrew is Clinical Professor, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, School of Nursing, Greensboro, North Carolina.
This study was funded by a National League for Nursing Research Grant. The authors thank Margarete Sandelowski her for assistance with qualitative analysis and Elizabeth Tornquist for editorial assistance.
The authors have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.
Address correspondence to Lynne Porter Lewallen, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF, Associate Professor, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, School of Nursing, PO Box 26170, Greensboro, NC 27402-6170; e-mail: .firstname.lastname@example.org