Constructing a nursing identity within the clinical environment: the student nurse experience
Background: Nursing identity is an important element of being a nurse. Student nurses begin the construction of their nursing identity during their clinical placements. Aim: The aim of this research was to examine how the student nurses of a regional Australian university construct their identity when on off-campus clinical placement. Methods/Design: Using a constructivist approach an online survey was used to elicit data in response to the question 'What elements are needed during the work integrated learning experience to enable undergraduate nursing students to construct their nursing identity?' Results/Findings: Findings reveal five key elements to the construction of students' nursing identity; positive role models, belonging, peer support, critical thinking abilities and confidence. Conclusion: Such findings are important as they provide information for student nurses, preceptors and educators in guiding clinical placement experiences that are able to facilitate the development of the nursing identity.