Friday, July 23, 2004
This presentation is part of : Trends in Nursing Education
Perceptions of Self in the Clinical Practice Culture
Kathy Lynn Rush, PhD, RN1, Barbara McCracken, MSN, RN1, and Catherine Talley, MSN, BSN2. (1) Nursing, University of South Carolina Spartanburg, Spartanburg, SC, USA, (2) School of Nursing, University of South Carolina Spartanburg, Spartanburg, SC, USA
Learning Objective #1: Identify strategies that practice and academic partners can use to facilitate an "insiders" experience for acculturating nursing students
Learning Objective #2: Appraise a measure of students' self-perceptions as insiders in the clinical practice culture

Nursing students must be able to function comfortably, confidently, and competently within the culture of nursing when they graduate. Undergraduate clinical practice experiences should acculturate students to their professional practice roles. Recent research suggests that a preceptorship facilitates acculturation by allowing students to feel like “insiders.” It is not known to what extent acculturation is affected by the type of clinical teaching model. A measure of students' perceptions as insiders may reflect the success to which teaching models achieve acculturation.

Objectives: The purpose is: i) to pilot test an instrument designed to measure students perceptions as insiders during different types of practice experiences; ii) to compare self-perceptions of students involved in a preceptored experience with students involved in an instructor led clinical experience; iii) to identify factors contributing to students self-perceptions as insiders.

Design: Non-equivalent groups pre-post-test design

Population, Sample, Setting, Years: A convenience sample of 50 undergraduate nursing students, from a college of nursing in southeastern United States will be included in this study. The two groups will be: i) twenty-five students selected to participate in six-week summer externship programs; and ii) a matched comparison group of 25 students participating in an instructor led practicum.

Method: Prior to and at the end of their clinical experiences students in both groups will be asked to complete the Perceptions of Self in the Clinical Practice Culture Scale. This is a new researcher-developed 4-point Likert scale used for measuring the extent to which students perceive themselves as insiders in the practice culture. In addition, students will complete a background information sheet and a questionnaire about influences on their perceptions as insiders.

Findings and Conclusions: Findings will be summarized using descriptive and inferential statistics.

Implications: Implications for the design of clinical experiences that maximize the “insider” experience for students will be addressed.

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Sigma Theta Tau International
July 22-24, 2004