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Experiences of undergraduate nursing students during their experiential learning in Boland Overberg healthcare facilities
Fadana, Fundiswa Pearl
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Nursing is a practice-based discipline, which makes experiential learning an important part of nursing education. The main purpose of experiential learning is to give students an opportunity to transfer theory into practice. It also equips the undergraduate student nurse with the skills and knowledge needed to provide high-quality care based on patients'/clients' needs and to produce competent and confident decision makers who are ready to accept personal and professional accountability. Experiential learning is accomplished by placing the undergraduate nursing students within a clinical learning environment. The success of the nursing programmes depends on appropriate clinical experience. The purpose of this research was to explore and describe the experiences of undergraduate nursing students during experiential learning in healthcare facilities at the Boland Overberg Campus in the Western Cape. A qualitative, exploratory, descriptive design was applied. Data collection was done using focus-group interviews to ascertain the undergraduate student nurses' experiences during clinical practice in healthcare facilities in the Boland Overberg area. Thirty-eight undergraduate nursing students from Boland Campus were selected, using purposive sampling. The ethical principles relevant to this study were observed. Colaizzi's method of coding and thematic content analysis were used to interpret the data. The results of this study revealed that students were not satisfied with the clinical learning environment, which was not conducive to their learning. The students were not supported and supervised by the registered nurses in the facilities. This resulted in a lack of theory and practice integration. Furthermore, the results revealed that the students faced challenges during clinical practice. One of the most challenging factors was negative staff attitudes. It was evident that even though being in clinical settings was sometimes very challenging and frightening, there were also joyful moments. Seeing the patient recover gave students satisfaction and a reason to return the next day.