Undergraduate nursing student perceptions of developing confidence through clinical learning experiences

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Luedtke, Tracy
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The clinical learning environment (CLE) provides students with an opportunity to build confidence and competence in the provision of patient care (Benner, 2010). The aim of this qualitative descriptive research was to explore and describe student perceptions of developing confidence through their clinical learning experiences, discovering what features of the CLE support their learning and the development of confidence. Ten students were recruited through purposive sampling and participated in one-on-one semi-structured interviews. Self-efficacy theory (Bandura, 1997) was used as a theoretical framework to guide this research and for the interpretation of the content analysis. The analysis revealed five socio-structural themes that support student learning and development of confidence. These findings elaborate Bandura’s (1997) theory. The most influential, through verbal persuasion was the clinical nursing instructor (CNI) followed by self, the buddy nurse, peers, and the staff/unit environment. Students perceived their development of confidence through a bi-directional interaction between their cognitive/affective processes, behaviour and the CLE. Understanding student perceptions of their confidence development, signals the need for informed pedagogical strategies to support student learning and development of confidence.
Confidence, Nursing student perceptions, Self-efficacy, Clinical practice