Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Exploring clinical nursing experiences: listening to student nurses

Pearcey, Patricia; Draper, Peter


Patricia Pearcey

Peter Draper


Student nurses spend one half of their educational programme in the clinical area. The success of an educationally sound clinical placement is crucial to forming a professional nursing identity that will encompass the seen and 'unseen' aspects of the nurses' role. The aim of this study was to explore the clinical nursing environment through the perceptions of first year student nurses. Semi-structured interviews were used to collect data from 12 student nurses who each had four weeks clinical experience, representing 21 wards and five hospitals. Results suggest that these student nurses were disillusioned with the reality of clinical nursing and that their expectations of nursing were not realised. They perceived that paperwork, completing tasks and meeting targets were dominant features of nursing work at the expense of patient contact and communication. A majority indicated that nursing was not as caring as they expected and vowed to hold on to their personal values of caring about patients and forming communicative, interpersonal relationships with them. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Pearcey, P., & Draper, P. (2008). Exploring clinical nursing experiences: listening to student nurses. Nurse education today, 28(5), 595-601.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 31, 2008
Publication Date 2008-07
Print ISSN 0260-6917
Electronic ISSN 1532-2793
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 28
Issue 5
Pages 595-601
Keywords General Nursing; Education
Public URL