Novices in clinical practice settings: Student nurses stories of learning the practice of nursing

Lily Orland-Barak, Dalit Wilhelem

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Drawing on 24 stories of clinical practice in an apprenticeship context of training in Israel, this qualitative study examined student nurses' perspectives towards learning to become a nurse, as revealed through the language and content of their written stories of clinical practice. As our findings suggest, student nurses' stories of learning to become a nurse in practice settings, are characterized by procedural language, by medical rather than nursing terminology, and by a focus on actions rather than on interactions. We have learned that, despite the rich content that characterizes clinical practice settings, the apprenticeship orientation of the training program, combined with student nurses' state of being a novice, yielded representations of the experience of learning to nurse which were characterized by an instrumental perspective towards the practice. We interpret these findings through four interrelated insights that emerge from the study: (1) an 'instrumental practice' orientation in the setting of caring, (2) knowledge of clinical facts-not knowledge of clinical principles, (3) the fragmented character of novices' learning to nurse in practice, and (4) rich content of practice alone does not yield rich content of learning.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)455-464
    Number of pages10
    JournalNurse Education Today
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - Aug 2005


    • Experience of learning
    • Novice-expert
    • Nursing students

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Education
    • General Nursing


    Dive into the research topics of 'Novices in clinical practice settings: Student nurses stories of learning the practice of nursing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this