The aim of this exploratory study was to describe and compare student nurses (n=142), staff nurses (n=54) and nurse tutors (n=8) perceptions of the clinical learning environment (CLE), and to identify factors that enhanced or inhibited student learning. The setting was a private hospital in Penang, Malaysia. Data were collected using a structured, self-administered questionnaire that consisted of six a priori subscales. Principal component analysis supported a six factor solution and a reduction in the number of items from 44 to 34. Participants’ overall perception of the CLE was positive, though there were significant differences in 5 of the 6 subscales between the three groups. For students and their tutors, the most positive component of the CLE was ‘supervision by clinical instructors’. Staff nurses reported more favourably on the learner friendliness of the CLE than did students or tutors. Factors that enhanced student learning included students’ and staff nurses’ attitude towards student learning, variety of clinical opportunities, sufficient equipment, and adequate time to perform procedures. Factors that hindered student learning were: overload of students in the clinical unit, busy wards, and students being treated as workers.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.