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Nurse Educ Today. 2013 May;33(5):475-80. doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2012.05.010. Epub 2012 May 31.

First year nursing students' viewpoints about compromised clinical safety.

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School of Health Sciences and Emergency Services, Cambrian College, 1400 Barrydowne Road, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada P3A 3V8.



Undergraduate nursing students must uphold patient safety as a professional and moral obligation across all clinical learning experiences. This expectation commences at entry into the nursing program. As part of a larger study exploring undergraduate baccalaureate nursing students' understanding of clinical safety, this paper specifically focuses on first year students' viewpoints about unsafe clinical learning situations.


Q-methodology was used. Sixty-eight first year nursing students participated in the ranking of 43 statements indicative of unsafe clinical situations and practices. Data was entered into a Q-program for factor analysis.


The results revealed a typology of four discrete viewpoints of unsafe clinical situations for first year students. These viewpoints included an overwhelming sense of inner discomfort, practicing contrary to conventions, lacking in professional integrity and disharmonizing relations. Overall, a consensus viewpoint described exonerating the clinical educator as not being solely responsible for clinical safety.


This information may assist students and educators to cooperatively and purposefully construct a clinical learning milieu conducive to safety.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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