Document Type : Original Article



Background: Clinical learning environment is a complex social entity. This environment is
effective on the learning process of nursing students in the clinical area. However, learning
in clinical environment has several benefits, but it can be challenging, unpredictable,
stressful, and constantly changing. In attention to clinical experiences and factors
contributing to the learning of these experiences can waste a great deal of time and
energy, impose heavy financial burden on educational systems, cause mental, familial and
educational problems for students, and compromise the quality of patient care. Therefore,
this study was carried out with the goal of determining the learning challenges of nursing
students in clinical environments in Iran. Materials and Methods: In this qualitative study
carried out in 2012–2013, 18 undergraduate nursing students were selected by using
purposive sampling method from the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery of Tehran and
Shahid Beheshti Universities. Semi‑structured interviews were used to collect data. The
content analysis method was used to determine relevant themes. Results: Two themes
were derived from the data analysis, which represented the students’ clinical learning
challenges. These two themes included insufficient qualification of nursing instructors
and unsupportive learning environment. Conclusions: Identification of the students’
clinical learning challenges and actions to remove or modify them will create more
learning opportunities for the students, improve the achievement of educational goals,
provide training to nursing students with the needed competencies to meet the complex
demands of caring and for application of theories in practice, and improve the quality
of healthcare services.


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