This paper is part of a longitudinal development project. We try to comprehend the learning experience of nursing students during their first clinical study course, aiming to identify how and what nursing students learn to qualify the support of clinical supervisors and educators. The methology of the project is qualitative, inspired by the thoughts of Michael Eraut on workplace learning. Seen from the workplace perspective, learning seems to be oriented toward the situations facing the students, rather than toward fabricated study methods. The learning of nursing students seems to be oriented toward socializing into the hierarchy of the clinic, toward the progression from being a novice to becoming an advanced beginner, overcoming overwhelming experiences. A socialization supported by newly educated nurses who can still express their practice, or supported by their private relations. When the new nursing students are required to plan adequate nursing, this is founded on anatomic and physiological knowledge at a basic level. The conclusion is that learning during the first clinical study course seems to be oriented toward how do we do things here? The learning seems informal and not based on best evident practice.
The match between workplace values and the nurses work values is identified as the key factor which differentiates efficient and inefficient recruitment and staff retention. However, many hospital managers are guided by an economical focus in their manpower planning and do not take advantage of this opportunity. Based on theory, existing studies and new empirical data regarding work values, this article challenges the traditional manpower planning. Data consists of single person interviews with three hospital managers, seven nurses from a Danish hospital in 2012 and eight interviews with recently qualified nurses who represent the perspective of the new work generation. While nurses with short working experience emphasize the importance of the relation to their managers, the more experienced nurses are more motivated by contact with the patient. Inclusion of nurses’ work values and working experience can increase the output of manpower planning regarding recruitment and absenteeism.
There is supposedly a gap between theoretical and practical knowledge in nursing. Nursing students experience this gap moving from the educational to the clinical arena. The purpose of this study was to examine whether a project between the educational and the clinical sector may be a learning arena that bridges the gap between theory and practice. The study is in the hermeneutic tradition and has a qualitative design with focus group-interviews. The results showed that the students who participated in the project more easily could transfer theoretical knowledge into practice. They became reflected discussants and discovered that combining the two kinds of knowledge gave the best result.