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Supporting culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) undergraduate nursing students undertaking clinical placements in Australia: An exploratory qualitative study of clinical facilitator and CALD student perceptions

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 09:50 authored by Lin, FF, Del Fabbro, L, Needham, J, Danny SidwellDanny Sidwell, Shaw, J

Background: Internationalisation of higher education has contributed to the increasing number of culturally and linguistically diverse students in higher education programs worldwide. While there is some literature on the experiences and needs of these students, there is little evidence on what resources can be used to support these students when learning in the clinical setting.

Aim: This study aimed to evaluate the usefulness of an existing handbook developed for clinical facilitators to enhance culturally and linguistically diverse nursing students' learning, and to explore the facilitator and student perceptions of their clinical placement support needs.

Design: This exploratory qualitative study, involving culturally and linguistically diverse Bachelor of Nursing students and clinical educators, was conducted in a multi-campus School of Nursing and Midwifery at Griffith University, Australia, in collaboration with health services. Focus groups and individual interviews with clinical facilitators and culturally and linguistically diverse nursing students were conducted. Activity theory provided the conceptual framework for this study and the qualitative data analysis was informed by grounded theory.

Results: Clinical facilitator focus groups and interviews generated three themes: understanding culturally and linguistically diverse students' needs; supporting culturally and linguistically diverse students; and improving learning resources for facilitators and students. Student focus groups generated three themes: wanting to be more prepared for clinical placement; feeling supported by facilitators and interacting with others in a different context; and creating resources to support learning.

Conclusions: Supportive clinical environments are key to the work-integrated learning success of culturally and linguistically diverse nursing students. The findings of this qualitative research study, involving clinical educators and culturally and linguistically diverse Bachelor of Nursing students identify the pressing need to develop readily accessible resources to support the clinical learning of culturally and linguistically diverse students and their educators. Resources development should be attentive to complexities at the intersection of workplace culture and students' developing understanding.


Publication title

Nurse Education Today








School of Nursing


Churchill Livingstone

Place of publication

Journal Production Dept, Robert Stevenson House, 1-3 Baxters Place, Leith Walk, Edinburgh, Scotland, Midlothian, Eh1 3Af

Rights statement

© 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Equity and access to education; Workforce transition and employment; Nursing