Understanding Clinical Nursing Education: An Exploratory Study [post-print]
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Clinical experiences are recognized as a critical aspect of nursing education, highlighting the importance of the perspectives of those providing clinical instruction. The aim of this mixed methods descriptive study was to discover the knowledge and guidance needs of preceptors and clinical faculty who provide clinical instruction to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) students. Fifteen clinical faculty and 17 preceptors were surveyed using a questionnaire developed and piloted by the researchers. Although preceptors and clinical faculty reported a high level of knowledge and confidence in their ability to guide student nurses, they also identified the need for additional support for their teaching roles. Analysis of the qualitative data provided insights into what helped and what hindered clinical instruction, as well as what could enhance clinical instruction. The development, implementation, and evaluation of formal education and mentorship processes for preceptors and clinical faculty are recommended in order to meet these knowledge and guidance gaps. Further research is also needed to explore how to clinical instruction could be tailored to the capacity of those engaged in the experiences and to clinical environments.