Happy to help/happy to be here: Identifying components of successful clinical placements for undergraduate nursing students Academic Article uri icon


  • The clinical placement learning environment is a critical component of nursing education where Australian nursing students spend a minimum of 800h. Identifying components of successful clinical placements for undergraduate nursing students is therefore paramount.To assess nursing students' views of the learning environment during clinical placement with an emphasis on the pedagogical atmosphere, leadership style of the ward manager, and premises of nursing on the unit or ward.The study used Clinical Learning Environment, Supervision and nurse teacher (CLES+T) questionnaire to examine 150 final year undergraduate students' perceptions of the clinical placement learning environment. The questionnaire was anonymous and completed by the students at the end of their clinical placement. The statistical program SPSS v22 was used. Principal components analysis (PCA) for data reduction was run on the 42-question section of the first dimension ('pedagogical atmosphere on the ward') of the questionnaire that measured the perceptions of the learning environment of the clinical placement of the 150 final-year undergraduate nursing students. The comments sections of the factors were subjected to interpretive content analysis to create the themes for the two components.Principle Component Analysis revealed two components that had eigenvalues greater than one: 'Happy to Help' Component 1 and 'Happy to be Here' Component 2. These components were statistically significant (p<0.0005), using Bartlett's Test of Sphericity indicating that the data was likely factorizable. These components scored higher than any other related factors.Student nurses value a welcoming workplace where staff and educators are happy to help and have a positive attitude to student presence on the wards. More than any other factors these ward-based factors appear to have the strongest influence on student satisfaction.


  • Doyle, Kerrie
  • Sainsbury, Kathryn
  • Cleary, Sonja
  • Parkinson, Lauren
  • Vindigni, Dein
  • McGrath, Ian
  • Cruickshank, Mary

publication date

  • 2017