University Of Tasmania

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Evaluating, understanding and improving the quality of clinical placements for undergraduate nurses: A practice development approach

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-18, 12:38 authored by Courtney-Pratt, HM, Karen FordKaren Ford, Annette MarlowAnnette Marlow

Supervision and support is central to sustainability of clinical placement experiences of undergraduate nurses, but open to influences that impact nurses' capacity to undertake the role. Whilst supervision of learners is integral to the role of health care professionals, the primary responsibility is to deliver safe and effective care. Supervision of learners in practice is impacted by low levels of organisational support, variable individual preparedness, and lack of feedback and recognition for the role from education and industry partners.

Over a period of five years the Quality Clinical Placement Evaluation research team, consisting of a partnership between health care and tertiary sectors have developed, and utilised a practice development approach to understand and support the quality of clinical placement for undergraduates and supervising ward nurses involved in Tasmanian clinical placement programs. Importantly, the approach evolved over time to be a flexible three step program supporting the translation of findings to practice, comprised of an education session related to supervision support; survey distribution to undergraduates and supervising ward nurses following clinical placement; and workshops where stakeholders come together to consider findings of the survey, their experience and the local context, with resultant actions for change. This paper reports on findings from the program after successful implementation in urban tertiary hospitals as it was implemented in non-traditional clinical placement settings, including community, aged care and rural settings.

Feedback from clinicians identifies the utility of the three step program across these settings. The unique partnerships and approach to evaluating, understanding and improving quality of clinical placements has potential for transferability to other areas, with the value of findings established for all stakeholders.


Publication title

Nurse Education in Practice










School of Nursing


Churchill Livingstone

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Learner and learning not elsewhere classified

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