The Benefits and Challenges of One New Zealand Nursing Undergraduate Clinical Education Model: a Case Study
This research project has utilised a case study approach to give ward managers a voice in the literature, by exploring and describing from their perspective the benefits and challenges of one particular nursing undergraduate clinical education model. The Tertiary Education Provider contracts the Health Provider to provide Clinical Nurse Educators (CNEs) to support second and third year undergraduate nursing students during their clinical experiences. The CNEs are seconded from their respective wards to meet the organisation’s contractual obligations. Data were gathered from two ward manager’s using semi-structured interviews. A thematic analysis using the ‘colour coding’ method as described by Roberts and Taylor (1999) was used to analyse the interview data. The findings elucidate the role of the undergraduate CNE, highlighting benefits such as the CNE being supernumerary to ward rosters and having time to teach, not only supervise students. CNEs are student-focused and easily accessible as they are based on site. The CNE was the one person who was ‘there’ for a student as a student’s preceptor can change shift-by-shift and day-by-day. One significant challenge which emerged was the replacement of ward staff, not only of senior nurses who can leave their wards for up to 12 weeks to undertake the CNE role but also that of the student’s preceptor if the student’s preceptor was on annual, sick or study leave. Other challenges such as the inability of ward managers to pre-book casual staff; preceptor work-loads; skill-mix issues and fluctuating fulltime equivalents (FTEs) are also discussed.