Is a clinical learning environment key to the success of a nursing student? Why is it important for them to choose a nursing school that focuses more on providing a better clinical learning environment in line with their curriculum?
Demand for Qualified Nurses
The medical sector’s nursing arm is wading through a demanding phase as more developing countries transform their medical industry and policies, increasing nurses’ demand.
According to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), it is expected to reduce the shortage of nurses from 9 million to 7.6 million by 2030. However, the shortage in African countries is getting worse due to the growing population and the spread of various contagious diseases. It officially prescribes a ratio of 40 nurses per 10,000 people. Most Sub-Saharan African countries have less than 10 nurses for 10,000 people.
Understanding the demanding need for nurses in Zambia, the National Assembly of Zambia had passed the Nurses and Midwives Bill in the year 2019, intending to prompt training for nurses and midwives.
Quality of Nurses
This demand has also raised the emphasis on the quality of education and training that these nurses receive. A research has been conducted by Dr. Benuis Kaliyangile and Dr. Catherine M Ngoma using a phenomenological procedure methodology on eight participants at the Rusangu University in Monze. The study clears up the factors that influence student nurses’ clinical learning and how the clinical learning environment influences a student nurse’s education.
Clinical Experience: A Critical Factor for the Success of Nursing Students
Clinical experience facilitates students to obtain essential skills and provides better quality and safe nursing care to patients. The findings revealed that study participants who extended learning and training support to student nurses on integrated and attachment theory into practice by discussing conditions or observing and demonstrating procedures when students were in the clinical areas reported a better educating and learning experience.
The research findings indicate that the study participants felt that clinical practice allows students to apply their the oretical knowledge into practice. They also affirmed that communication was also good among the school staff and students, thus inspiring students’ confidence with their practice and knowledge.
Difficulties Faced by Nursing Students
Additionally, the study also revealed that students face difficulties during students’ placements in their clinical sites, such as shortage of stationery, medical-surgical supplies, equipment, and students congesting the ward from various other nursing schools from the area.This made learning difficult for students. Taking these circumstances into attention would help students develop psychomotor skills and adjust better to their professional roles during clinical trials.
Observations by the Study
The study further observed that participants who provided a clinical learning environment while teaching to student nurses on attachment and integrated theory into practice by discussing conditions or observing and demonstrating procedures during clinical trials, improved their performance, and made them better nursing candidates. They also reported that communication and productivity were also good among the school staff and students due to a better understanding.
Finally, the study suggests a necessity to investigate challenges, the clinical students face to facilitate learning in clinical practice and create a conducive clinical learning environment.
With the compelling evidence of students’ better performance, which is made possible by offering a proper clinical learning environment as a part of their studies, we hope that more students and institutions opt to add a clinical training environment routine as a part of their nursing curriculum. Many nursing schools in Lusaka, like Texila American University, offer real-time clinical training as a part of their curriculum to help nurses practice their knowledge and skills. Students can choose those registered nursing schools in Zambia for the nursing course and make the most of their nursing studies to become upstanding medical collaborators.