Satisfaction with nursing clinical placements in the Northern Territory and work intentions post-graduation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The aims of this study are to assess nursing student satisfaction with their Northern Territory clinical placement; describe the characteristics of these students; and examine the relationship between student placements and future rural/remote work intentions. Background: Positive clinical placement experiences in a rural or remote setting can encourage student nurses to consider working in rural and remote locations after graduation. Study design and methods: The study is a cross-sectional survey of nursing students, and a review of placement data. Participants were studying a pre-registration Bachelor of Nursing course from a variety of Australian universities who undertook a clinical placement of usually four or more weeks in the Northern Territory from 2017-2019. The main outcome measures are overall satisfaction with their placement, and consideration of living and working in a rural or remote location after graduating. Logistic regression analyses examined the relationship between student placements and future rural or remote work intentions. Results: One hundred and sixty three undergraduate nursing students responded to the online survey. The majority (70%) of placements were undertaken in remote or very remote (18%) locations. Satisfaction with the placement was very high (94%), and 88% agreed/strongly agreed that the placement had encouraged them to consider working in a rural or remote setting. Satisfaction with educational resources and prior interest in working remotely were associated with overall placement satisfaction (p<0.10). Overall satisfaction with the placement and prior consideration of working regionally, rurally, or remotely were significantly associated with feeling encouraged to consider working rurally or remotely (p<0.05). Conclusion: This study supported the logical pathway of providing a satisfying clinical nursing placement in the Northern Territory to contribute to a higher likelihood of the student considering working in a remote or rural setting after graduation. Providing satisfying remote clinical placements is a strategy for growing a nursing workforce for remote and rural settings. Implications for research, policy and practice: Ongoing investment in remote clinical nursing placements is needed to ensure nursing students are satisfied with their placement. In particular, the educational resources and support during the placement need to be of high quality. Actively recruiting students who had a prior interest in working in a regional, rural or remote setting will likely lead to high satisfaction with the placement and contribute to an interest in working in a rural or remote setting post-graduation. What is already known about this topic? • Recruitment of student nurses and preparation for working in the rural and remote sector are important for improving population healthcare outcomes for populations who live there. • Previous studies of nursing, allied health and medical students indicate that exposure to positive placement experiences in regional, rural or remote locations increases the likelihood of students returning to those locations after completing their study. What this paper adds • Data from this study come predominately from remote clinical placements. • Satisfaction with clinical placements in remote locations in the Northern Territory of Australia, and prior interest in working remotely, are associated with considering working in a regional, rural or remote location. • Satisfaction with educational resources is associated with overall placement satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2020.394.450
Pages (from-to)4-11
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian Journal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • clinical placements
  • primary health nursing
  • Remote Area Nursing
  • Remote health
  • workforce training


Dive into the research topics of 'Satisfaction with nursing clinical placements in the Northern Territory and work intentions post-graduation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this