Facilitating undergraduate nurses clinical practicum: The lived experience of clinical facilitators



Publication Details

Dickson, C., Walker, J. & Bourgeois, S. R. (2006). Facilitating undergraduate nurses clinical practicum: The lived experience of clinical facilitators. Nurse Education Today, 26 (5), 416-422.


Clinical practicum experience for undergraduate nurses remains undisputed as an essential component of any program. Exposure to the reality of professional practice and its integration of explicit, with tacit knowledge, is invaluable in producing skilled clinicians. Currently there are many issues that have arisen regarding clinical practice education for undergraduate nurses in Australia including; ongoing financial support and resourcing of clinical placements. Developing an understanding of these issues is central to the provision of quality clinical education. The aim of this study is to reveal dimensions of the lived experience of being a clinical facilitator, a popular model of nursing clinical education, to come to an understanding of how facilitation actually takes place in the clinical environment. The Hermeneutic phenomenological approach used in this study has brought to light five essential themes that elucidate the phenomena of facilitation. Those themes have been identified as; knowing your own limitations, employing the notion of stepping in or stepping back, developing alliances, acknowledging the reciprocity of the learning experience, and identifying appropriate clinical buddies. The recommendations from this study will have an impact on current issues and will inturn, influence the quality of clinical education for all stakeholders

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