Clinical learning experiences of nursing students using an innovative clinical partnership model: A non-randomized controlled trial

Aileen W.K. Chan, Fiona W.K. Tang, Kai Chow Choi, Ting Liu, Ruth E. Taylor-Piliae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Clinical practicum is a major learning component for pre-registration nursing students. Various clinical practicum models have been used to facilitate students' clinical learning experiences, employing both university-based and hospital-based clinical teachers. Considering the strengths and limitations of these clinical practicum models, along with nursing workforce shortages, we developed and tested an innovative clinical partnership model (CPM) in Hong Kong. Objective: To evaluate an innovative CPM among nursing students actual and preferred clinical learning environment, compared with a conventional facilitation model (CFM). Design: A non-randomized controlled trial examining students' clinical experiences, comparing the CPM (supervised by hospital clinical teacher) with the CFM (supervised by university clinical teacher). Setting: One university in Hong Kong. Participants: Pre-registration nursing students (N = 331), including bachelor of nursing (n = 246 year three-BN) and masters-entry nursing (n = 85 year one-MNSP). Methods: Students were assigned to either the CPM (n = 48 BN plus n = 85 MNSP students) or the CFM (n = 198 BN students) for their clinical practice experiences in an acute medical-surgical ward. Clinical teachers supervised between 6 and 8 students at a time, during these clinical practicums (duration = 4–6 weeks). At the end of the clinical practicum, students were invited to complete the Clinical Learning Environment Inventory (CLEI). Analysis of covariance was used to compare groups; adjusted for age, gender and prior work experience. Results: A total of 259 students (mean age = 22 years, 76% female, 81% prior work experience) completed the CLEI (78% response rate). Students had higher scores on preferred versus actual experiences, in all domains of the CLEI. CPM student experiences indicated a higher preferred task orientation (p = 0.004), while CFM student experiences indicated a higher actual (p < 0.001) and preferred individualization (p = 0.005). No significant differences were noted in the other domains. Conclusions: The CPM draws on the strengths of existing clinical learning models and provides complementary methods to facilitate clinical learning for pre-registration nursing students. Additional studies examining this CPM with longer duration of clinical practicum are recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-127
Number of pages7
JournalNurse Education Today
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • Clinical practice model
  • Clinical practicum
  • Clinical teaching
  • Nursing students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Education


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