Nursing students' perceptions of a clinical learning assessment activity: ‘Linking the puzzle pieces of theory to practice’

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5 Citations (Scopus)


The nursing profession struggles with providing a bridge to close the theory to practice gap for students. Students are expected to graduate with competencies that promote their safe and comprehensive nursing care provision in accordance with professional standards. This paper reports on students' a simulated clinical educational intervention embedded into a second-year nursing student clinical topic offering experiential learning opportunities for a large cohort. Feedback was analysed using Braun and Clarke's (2006) thematic qualitative process to investigate student-learning experiences and present student perceptions of this experience. Three key themes were identified: support promoted learning, focus on the bigger picture and practice clarifies puzzle pieces. Students perceived the simulated clinical experience as beneficial to their confidence, learning and ability to develop their professional practice. Promotion of learning outcomes facilitated by the structured, supportive and educational approach was important for students. Nurse educators have a responsibility to develop learning experiences that enable student's ability to link theory to practice in context. Ongoing exploration and evaluation of this intervention is required however, such an approach appears to support student's knowledge development for transference across situations and within large student cohorts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-90
Number of pages6
JournalNurse Education in Practice
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • Clinical skills
  • Theory to practice
  • Nursing student
  • Clinical learning
  • Clinical teaching


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