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Int J Nurs Stud. 2001 Aug;38(4):447-59.

Combining qualitative and quantitative methods in assessing hospital learning environments.

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  • 1Department of Nursing, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong.


Clinical education is a vital component in the curricula of pre-registration nursing courses and provides student nurses with the opportunity to combine cognitive, psychomotor, and affective skills. Clinical practice enables the student to develop competencies in the application of knowledge, skills, and attitudes to clinical field situations. It is, therefore, vital that the valuable clinical time be utilised effectively and productively. Nursing students' perception of the hospital learning environment were assessed by combining quantitative and qualitative approaches. The Clinical Learning Environment Inventory, based on the theoretical framework of learning environment studies, was developed and validated. The quantitative and qualitative findings reinforced each other. It was found that there were significant differences in students' perceptions of the actual clinical learning environment and their preferred learning environment. Generally, students preferred a more positive and favourable clinical environment than they perceived as being actually present.

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