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Nursing students’ preferences for clinical placements in the residential aged care setting

Lea, E ORCID: 0000-0001-7346-5667, Marlow, A ORCID: 0000-0002-8606-7497, Altmann, E ORCID: 0000-0002-6109-4130 and Courtney-Pratt, H ORCID: 0000-0002-6812-3360 2017 , 'Nursing students’ preferences for clinical placements in the residential aged care setting' , Journal of Clinical Nursing , pp. 1-10 , doi:

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Aims and objectives: To examine nursing student placement preferences submittedas online comments to a university’s placement management system, to informstrategies for positive residential aged care experiences.Background: There are predicted shortages of nurses to service an ageing population.Clinical placements undertaken by undergraduate nursing students help shapetheir attitudes and are a key determinant of career decision-making, yet there islittle research about why students prefer particular placement areas.Design: Analysis of qualitative data from a placement management system.Methods: Of 6,610 comments received between 2007–2014, 607 related to agedcare and were coded according to preferences for being placed in a residential agedcare facility, with reasons for this preference thematically coded and quantified.Results: Four hundred and one comments (66.1%) related to students requestingnot to be allocated residential aged care for the upcoming placement, primarily dueto previous experience in the sector; 104 (17.1%) referred to aged care in a neutralmanner, focusing on conflict of interest; 102 (16.8%) related to a request for anaged care placement.Conclusions: The student nurse comments characterise students as being focusedon maximising their learning, while considering prior experience. In some cases,increased exposure to aged care is considered to offer limited learning opportunities,which is concerning and suggests that both the tertiary and aged care sectorshave a joint responsibility to pursue recognition of aged care nursing as a specialised,highly skilled role.Relevance to clinical practice: Nursing programme providers should ensure curriculumcontent and exposure to aged care placement clearly identify the complexitiesof care and provide genuine opportunities for knowledge acquisition and skill developmentbased on multifaceted resident care needs. This will support both thoseinterested in a future aged care career and those undecided.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Lea, E and Marlow, A and Altmann, E and Courtney-Pratt, H
Keywords: Nursing, Student, Aged care, Preferences, Clinical placement
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Clinical Nursing
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd
ISSN: 0962-1067
DOI / ID Number:
Copyright Information:

© 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd

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