The Behavior of Staff Nurses, Nursing Education, and Global Health

Thursday, 16 July 2009: 4:05 PM

Sharon M. Melincavage, DEd, RN, ANP-BC, CNE
Nursing Department, Cedar Crest College, Allentown, PA

Learning Objective 1: discuss how staff nurse behaviors affect global health.

Learning Objective 2: verbalize the impact that staff nurse behaviors have on the education of student nurses.

Purpose: Research has shown that student nurses have abandoned their desire and quest to become professional nurses because of difficult relationships between staff nurses and student nurses.  This is a very important topic related to global health and nursing education.  Globally, there is a shortage of professional nurses to provide needed quality health care to patients.  Determining methods to encourage student nurses to continue in nursing education programs could help decrease the global shortage of professional nurses.  The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to investigate how student nurses make meaning of, interpret, perceive, and understand their anxiety in the clinical setting. 

Methods: Unstructured face-to-face interviews with student nurse participants was the main method of data collection for this research study.  Results: Analysis of the data showed that student nurses experience anxiety during the clinical experience relevant to their relationships with staff nurses. Conclusion: This paper is presented in the spirit of increasing staff nurses’ awareness of how their behaviors create anxiety for student nurses during clinical experience.  Increasing this awareness can be part of the first steps to changing the behavior of future generations of nurses as the student nurses of today become the staff nurses of tomorrow.  As the behavior of staff nurses change perhaps the number of professional nurses will increase globally for generations to come.