The Experience of Australian Undergraduate BN Student Nurses Undertaking a Clinical Placement in the Solomon Islands

Friday, 3 August 2012: 9:10 AM

Sonja Ann Frischknecht, DipAppSci (Nurs), BN, MN (Hons)
Faculty of Nursing and Health, Avondale College of Higher Education, Wahroonga, NSW, Australia

Learning Objective 1: identify factors that may contribute or hinder learning in an international context specifically related to clinical practice.

Learning Objective 2: recognise the perceptions of students participating in a non-traditional clinical learning situations outside their own country

Purpose: International undergraduate clinical nursing placements are becoming a more accepted alternative to local clinical nursing placements, and have been identified as contributing to positive learning experiences. The purpose of this study was to explore and describe the lived experience of Australian student nurses that participated in a clinically focused learning placement in the Solomon Islands. It captured their perception of working in a clinical setting in a developing country.

Methods: An interpretive phenomenological study design was used. The sample comprised of seven senior undergraduate Bachelor of Nursing (BN) students. Participation in the study was entirely voluntary and not linked to grading or satisfaction of requirements needed to complete their degree course. Data was collected via both in semi-structured interviews and a group presentation after participation in the placement. Six themes describing the participants perceived areas of learning resulted, including (i) collaboration, (ii) confidence, (iii) appreciation, (iv) adaptability and creativity, (v) ignited passion and (vi) cultural considerations.

Results: Results inform faculty of the usefulness of an international clinical learning experience in a developing country and may guide future teaching within the subject areas of primary health care, community health nursing and clinical subjects.

Conclusion: Findings will inform faculty when organising future international opportunities for clinical placement and provide insight to future curriculum development.