Undergraduate nursing students’ belongingness in clinical learning environments: Constructivist grounded theory

Allison Kern, Phyllis Montgomery, Sharolyn Mossey, Patricia Bailey

Abstract


Background: Experiential learning within clinical practice settings is a substantial component of undergraduate nursing education. This study described baccalaureate nursing students’ perception of how their belongingness evolves in clinical learning environments through partnerships with their clinical educator and unit-based nurses.

Methods: The design of this study was constructivist grounded theory. The setting was a single four year baccalaureate nursing program located in Ontario, Canada. Eighteen students enrolled in third or fourth year of the program participated in a total of 22 semi-structured one-to-one interviews. Comparative methods were used to analyze the data.

Results: The students’ described positioning for belongingness, persevering for belongingness, and ultimately, entering into belongingness. Belongingness was depicted as gaining entry into the nursing “atmosphere”, a privileged space unique to each clinical placement. In this space, students were granted access to rich learning and socialization opportunities in alliance with the unit-based nurses. For students unable to secure belongingness, learning within the clinical setting occurred as outsiders, exterior to the nursing atmosphere.

Conclusion: Students described belongingness as possible when their demonstrated competencies were validated by others who had the capacity to optimize their professional socialization and development within the clinical setting.

 


Full Text: PDF DOI: 10.5430/jnep.v4n3p133

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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