A grounded theory study of nursing students’ experiences in the off-campus clinical setting

Sengstock, Brian (2008) A grounded theory study of nursing students’ experiences in the off-campus clinical setting. PhD thesis, Central Queensland University, Australia.


Poor workplace relations are an issue of concern in many workplaces and this phenomenon is not restricted to the nursing profession. The issue of workplace violence in nursing is well documented and there are an increasing number of studies which have investigated the notion of horizontal violence amongst graduate nurses. The impact that poor workplace relations has on the development of a professional identity by nursing students in the off-campus clinical setting is significant in light of the current global shortage of nurses.

There is a dearth of knowledge in understanding how Australian undergraduate nursing students experience the off-campus clinical setting and subsequently develop a professional identity as a nurse. Therefore the aim of this study was to discover and describe the phenomena in order to develop a substantive theory that explains the experiences of the undergraduate nursing students in a regional setting.

Constructivist grounded theory methods were utilised in the conduct of the study. A sample of 29 participants was recruited permitting the formulation of a substantive theory regarding the development of a professional identity in nursing students. This substantive theory contributes knowledge relevant to the undergraduate nursing students, nurse educators, nursing workforce planners, and the tertiary educational institutions offering nursing. This is achieved through discovering, describing and explaining the phenomenon of ‘anxiety’ which the nursing students experience as a result of the interrelationship and interactions of tradition bearing, staff and student performance. These interactions intersect to form expectations of where the student fits within the hierarchy of the facility and the nursing profession in general. An understanding of the issues associated with tradition bearing, staff performance, and student performance and the impact that the interaction of these conditions has upon the student’s developing professional identity as a nurse is necessary to allow for the implementation of corrective strategies.

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ID Code: 30282
Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Refereed: No
Keywords: horizontal violence, workplace relations, nursing students, grounded theory, off campus clinical setting
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000) > Nursing not elsewhere classified (111099)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Institution: Central Queensland University, Australia
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 Brian Sengstock
Deposited On: 07 Feb 2010 22:26
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 14:20

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