A Multi-Phase Research program investigating various aspects of the Use of Innovative Clinical Placements in Baccalaureate Nursing Education

Since 2002 the Innovative Clinical Placements (ICP) Research team at TWU School of Nursing has examined multiple dimensions regarding Nursing Student learning and Nurse Educator perspectives regarding the use of Innovative Clinical Placements in Nursing Education.

Phase 1: 2002 – 2005

Phase one examined perspectives of nursing students, their clinical educators and the Nursing faculty to student outcomes and the value of learning in ICP settings.
Student learning in five ICP’s that were well established in the TWU School of Nursing undergraduate baccalaureate program were examined: Aboriginal, Rural, International, Parish and Corrections.

Phase 1 related publications:

Reimer Kirkham, S., Van Hofwegen, L., & Hoe Harwood, C. (2005). Narratives of Social Justice: Student Learning in Innovative Clinical Placements. International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship. 2(1), article 28. Available: http://www.bepress.com/ijnes/vol2/iss1/art28

Van Hofwegen, L., Reimer Kirkham, S., & Hoe Harwood, C. (2005). Accessing the strength of rural health settings: Implications for undergraduate nursing education. International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship. 2(1), article 27. Available: http://www.bepress.com/ijnes/vol2/iss1/art27

Reimer Kirkham, S., Hoe Harwood, C., & Van Hofwegen, L. (2005). Capturing the vision: Undergraduate nursing students in innovative clinical settings. Nurse Educator, 30(6):263-270.

Phase 1 Project Reports:

Innovative Clinical Placements: A Descriptive Study - (October, 2005).

Funded by Western Regions Canadian Association Schools of Nursing Research Award.

This study examined student learning opportunities for population-focused nursing care in several innovative clinical sites used by one university nursing program: parish, rural, corrections, Aboriginal, and international health settings. Findings from this study demonstrate that although these placements may require more administrative time, rich student learning occurs. Students in these placements report a heightened awareness of patients' lived reality of health and illness and the social contexts that shaped these patient experiences. Findings also highlight catalysts and challenges of using innovative clinical settings and perspectives on how to maximize learning in these settings.

Download 2005 ICP Phase One Report (PDF)

Additional Funding for one dimension of phase I research

A participatory action research project

Keeping the Vision: Sustaining Social Consciousness with Nursing Students following International Learning Experiences (Funded by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Aid to Small Universities, $3000). Co Principal Investigators: S. Reimer Kirkham; L. Van Hofwegen; Co-Investigator: D. Pankratz

Reimer Kirkham, S.,Van Hofwegen, L., & Pankratz, D. (2009). “Keeping the vision”: Sustaining social consciousness following international learning experiences. International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship. 6(1), article 3.

Ongoing research developed out of Phase 1:

Nursing Students Partnering: A Zambian-Canadian Case Study (2012-13)

Principal Investigator: Darlane Pankratz; Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Barb Astle; Co-Investigator: Dr. Sheryl Reimer-Kirkham

Funded by Western Regions Canadian Association Schools of Nursing Research Award.

In an era of globalization, international learning experiences have become increasingly commonplace in nursing education. Although some empirical evaluation of such placements exists, several significant gaps remain, including evidence on how to conduct such experiences in ways that are mutually beneficial to students and hosts. In particular, our interest is not just in learning outcomes for Canadian students, but also for local students in host settings, through an exploration of experiences of partnering. The project will explore partnering between Zambian and Canadian nursing students, with the goal of contributing to the sparse empirical evidence on partnerships in the con-text of international nursing education placements. Using a case study methodology, we will gather descriptive data from Canadian and Zambian nursing students, and key Zambian stakeholders, during an upcoming travel studies course.

Phase 2: 2005 - 2009

Use of Innovative Clinical Placements in Undergraduate Nursing Education: A National Survey

Health professional education programs are responding to the community and population-based foci of healthcare by seeking to integrate strong community components in their curricula. At the same time, recent healthcare restructuring and cuts to community health programs, along with increased enrolments, have made the allocation of clinical placements for health professions students extremely challenging. Yet, clinical learning experiences continue as the backbone of health professional education where students bring theory and practice together (i.e., praxis) in a transition to professional practice. In the search for suitable clinical placements needed to fulfill mandated number of clinical hours, educators are turning to various non-traditional settings in a shift that is both philosophically and practically motivated.

This ambitious survey project examined the utilization of innovative clinical placements in undergraduate nursing programs from the perspectives of clinical placement coordinators and nurse educators. A national survey was used to collect data from 74 Canadian nursing programs in the Winter of 2005/2006. The data from the survey were validated and expanded upon during a focus group with nurse educators and administrators in November 2006. A detailed discussion of the background, methods, and results of the study is provided in the report.

Phase II publication:

Hoe Harwood, C., Reimer-Kirkham, S., Sawatzky R. , Terblanche, L., Van Hofwegen, L. (2009) Innovation in Community Clinical Placements: A Canadian Survey International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship 6 (1) Article 28,
DOI: 10.2202/1548-923X.1860

Project Reports & Executive Summary:

Use of Innovative Clinical Placements in Undergraduate Nursing Education: A National Survey (WRCASN Nursing Education Research Award, 2005 - 2007). Principal Investigator: S. Reimer Kirkham; Co Principal Investigator: C. Hoe Harwood; Investigators: L. Terblanche, L. Van Hofwegen; Collaborator: R. Sawatzky.

Download 2007 ICP National Survey Executive Summary (PDF)

Download ICP National Survey Full Report (PDF)

Download presentation slides: The 4th Annual Education Conference (Calgary; August, 2008) (PPT)

Download presentation slides: Practice Makes Perfect Conference (Vancouver, November 2007) (PPT)

Download presentation slides: CASN National Research Conference (Victoria, November 2006) (PPT)

Phase 3: 2011 –

Community Agency Host Perspectives when providing ICP community clinical placements for Nursing student education.

What are the driving factors for community based agency settings outside of traditional government administered care settings to host nursing student placements. Why do even well established and mutually reported successful settings decline to host subsequent nursing student community clinical placements?

The focus of phase three research is to elicit the experience of Host agency personnel who have hosted ICP placements for nursing students and describe factors that promote and hinder future clinical placements in their settings.

The pilot study was completed.

Funding to complete this project has not been secured.

Phase III work is a needed piece to contribute to understanding regarding the negotiation of community based Innovative clinical placements.