Original Research

Facilitative and obstructive factors in the clinical learning environment: Experiences of pupil enrolled nurses

Eucebious Lekalakala-Mokgele, Ernestine M. Caka
Curationis | Vol 38, No 1 | a1263 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v38i1.1263 | © 2015 Eucebious Lekalakala-Mokgele, Ernestine M. Caka | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 January 2014 | Published: 31 March 2015

About the author(s)

Eucebious Lekalakala-Mokgele, School of Health Care Sciences, University of Limpopo, Medunsa Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, South Africa
Ernestine M. Caka, The South African Military Nursing College, Military Hospital, Pellisier, South Africa

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Background: The clinical learning environment is a complex social entity that influences student learning outcomes in the clinical setting. Students can experience the clinical learning environment as being both facilitative and obstructive to their learning. The clinical environment may be a source of stress, creating feelings of fear and anxiety which in turn affect the students’ responses to learning. Equally, the environment can enhance learning if experienced positively.

Objectives: This study described pupil enrolled nurses’ experiences of facilitative and obstructive factors in military and public health clinical learning settings.

Method: Using a qualitative, contextual, exploratory descriptive design, three focus group interviews were conducted until data saturation was reached amongst pupil enrolled nurses in a military School of Nursing.

Results: Data analysed provided evidence that acceptance by clinical staff and affordance of self-directed learning facilitated learning. Students felt safe to practise when they were supported by the clinical staff. They felt a sense of belonging when the staff showed an interest in and welcomed them. Learning was obstructed when students were met with condescending comments. Wearing of a military uniform in the public hospital and horizontal violence obstructed learning in the clinical learning environment.

Conclusion: Students cannot have effective clinical preparation if the environment is not conducive to and supportive of clinical learning, The study shows that military nursing students experience unique challenges as they are trained in two professions that are hierarchical in nature. The students experienced both facilitating and obstructing factors to their learning during their clinical practice. Clinical staff should be made aware of factors which can impact on students’ learning. Policies need to be developed for supporting students in the clinical learning environment.


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Crossref Citations

1. Belongingness in undergraduate/pre-licensure nursing students in the clinical learning environment: A scoping review
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Nurse Education in Practice  vol: 64  first page: 103422  year: 2022  
doi: 10.1016/j.nepr.2022.103422