Clinical supervisors’ perceptions regarding the factors that promote or inhibit nursing students’ skills transfer from the skills laboratory to the clinical practice environment
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Background: Nursing as a profession is based on firm knowledge, values, clinical skills and attitudes. In the current dynamic healthcare system nursing students are challenged to be insightful and have clinical reasoning and psychomotor skills in order to apply theory to practice. Clinical teaching is therefore considered an essential part of the undergraduate nursing curriculum, as it provides the opportunity for students to apply theory to practice in the skills laboratory and then to transfer it into real life situations. Nursing students spend time in the clinical practice environment learning the skills and values of the nursing profession, with the goal of achieving the clinical learning outcomes, as prescribed by their nursing education institution and the South African Nursing Council. During this time nursing students depend on the support of clinical supervisors and nursing staff in the clinical practice environment to meet their learning outcomes. Clinical supervisors for the undergraduate nursing programme, at the university included in the study, are tasked with clinical teaching in the skills laboratory, supervision of nursing students in clinical practice and assessment of learning. Nonetheless, there are challenges ascertained by the clinical supervisors, which inhibits students from achieving their learning outcomes. Purpose of the study: The purpose of the study was to explore and describe the clinical supervisor’s perception of students’ skills transfer from skills laboratory to the clinical environment.