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A grounded theory study of nursing students' experiences in the off-campus clinical setting

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posted on 2023-11-01, 05:53 authored by Brian SengstockBrian Sengstock
Poor workplace relations are an issue of concern in many workplaces and this phenomenon is not restricted to the nursing profession. The issue of workplace violence in nursing is well documented and there are an increasing number of studies which have investigated the notion of horizontal violence amongst graduate nurses. The impact that poor workplace relations has on the development of a professional identity by nursing students in the off-campus clinical setting is significant in light of the current global shortage of nurses. There is a dearth of knowledge in understanding how Australian undergraduate nursing students experience the off-campus clinical setting and subsequently develop a professional identity as a nurse. Therefore the aim of this study was to discover and describe the phenomena in order to develop a substantive theory that explains the experiences of the under-graduate nursing students in a regional setting. Constructivist grounded theory methods were utilised in the conduct of the study. A sample of 29 participants was recruited permitting the formulation of a substantive theory regarding the development of a professional identity in nursing students. This substantive theory contributes knowledge relevant to the undergraduate nursing students, nurse educators, nursing workforce planners, and the tertiary educational institutions offering nursing. This is achieved through discovering, describing and explaining the phenomenon of anxiety which the nursing students experience as a result of the interrelationship and interactions of tradition bearing, staff and student performance. These interactions intersect to form expectations of where the student fits within the hierarchy of the facility and the nursing profession in general. An understanding of the issues associated with tradition bearing, staff performance, and student performance and the impact that the interaction of these conditions has upon the students developing professional identity as a nurse is necessary to allow for the implementation of corrective strategies.


Number of Pages



Central Queensland University

Additional Rights

I hereby grant to Central Queensland University or its agents the right to archive and to make available my thesis or dissertation in whole or in part through Central Queensland University’s Institutional Repository, ACQUIRE, in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. I retain all copyright, including the right to use future works (such as articles or books), all or part of this thesis or dissertation.

Open Access

  • Yes

External Author Affiliations

Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Health;

Era Eligible

  • No


Associate Professor Lorna Moxham ; Dr Trudy Dwyer

Thesis Type

  • Doctoral Thesis

Thesis Format

  • By publication