Quantitative Critique: What do Nursing Students Contribute to Clinical Practice? The Perceptions of Working Nurses

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What do Nursing Students Contribute to Clinical Practice? The Perceptions of Working Nurses.

Research Problem

The purpose of this quantitative study by Morrison and Brennaman’s (2016) was to elicit factors that caused satisfaction and dissatisfaction for staff registered nurses (RNs) who participated in two types of nurse student interactions: clinical rotation role-model and student preceptorship. The research questions were: “What Do Nursing Students Contribute to Clinical Practice? What is the Perceptions of Working Nurses?” (Morrison and Brennaman, 2016). The study cites the growing scarcity of positions for clinical experiences as one of the key reasons for investigating the perceptions of staff nurses on effect of student nurses on their practice. Even though Morrison and Brennaman (2016) do not present any conceptual framework, the literature review comprehensively examines the relationship of staff RNs and nursing students based on the impact it has on practice. The approach colludes with the study’s findings to highlight the impact of offering clinical experiences to nursing students as they contribute to staff development and professional growth of staff RNs. The study contributes to the professional knowledge on improving the experiences of staff RNs with nursing students in practice.

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Types of Literature

           Morrison and Brennaman (2016) used both secondary and seminal literature. Secondary research refers to the academic materials that use different primary sources in proving a given concept and offer interpretations of primary work (Houser, 2018 p. 169). Such references should not be older than five years; most importantly, they must be relevant to the topic. On the other hand, seminal literature is well identified as academic materials that date back for more than five years but identified for its uniqueness and contribution to practice (Houser, 2018 p. 169). These materials, too, must be relevant to the topic and positively contribute to accomplishing the pertinent research (Houser, 2018 p. 169). Notably, this study incorporates both types of sources in proving to elaborate the perceptions of staff RNs on students taking part in clinical rotations and preceptorships. All other reviews in the study contribute to the study by providing relevant and supportive of the concepts presented. 

           The literature allows for extensive studies by presenting the balance of both the negative and positive impacts of nursing students on the experiences and clinical skills and knowledge of staff RNs. Seminal sources were used to underline the results that show that nurses positively impact nursing students working with staff RNs and the quality of care (Morrison & Brennaman, 2016). On the other hand, secondary literature highlighted that staff RNs with less than 10 years’ experience, on the other hand, are less pleased by the presence of students in hospitals, most notably in surgical rooms (Morrison & Brennaman, 2016). The balance achieved in the literature review expounds on the gap that the study explores and how understanding the perceptions of staff RNs would contribute to practice.

Research Design

           Morrison and Brennaman (2016) used a quantitative research design in this study. In quantitative research, the design defines the strategic approach for data collecting, encompassing the researcher’s theories on the nature of the data to be produced (Houser, 2018 p 439). Houser (2018) emphasizes that in quantitative research design, actionable insights are collected through statistical conclusions. The strategy for selecting participants, gathering data, and analyzing data in a quantitative research study is presented (Houser, 2018 p. 441). This study uses information on various nurse training settings based on two types of student interactions: student preceptorship and clinical rotation model. The statistics are later analyzed using the variables in place and the response patterns of participants. Utilizing the Nursing Students’ Contributions to Clinical Agencies (NSCCA) survey on the Linkert scale, the study rated the respondents’ scores as either high or low. The low scores denote whether the presence of students in clinical seating was professionally contributory. The quantitative research design was the most appropriate design for this particular study since the statistical analysis of the selected participants’ responses is vital for proof of the study’s initial assumptions


           Houser (2018 p. 524) asserts that a sampling strategy is essential for every study since it adds to the findings’ trustworthiness and determines whether the research can be used as proof. The study utilizes a stratified sampling method involves selecting participants who meet certain inclusion criteria, and then classifying them per other criteria (Houser, 2018 p. 525). Needed for this study were nurses who served as role models for clinical rotation and student preceptors. They also had to vary in experience and clinical settings. Participants for the study were particularly registered nurses from the following settings: medical surgery, critical care, pediatrics, emergency, outpatient, and rehab. The participants’ inclusion/exclusion criteria cut across age, level of expertise, level of studies, clinical practice area, employment status, country of an original nursing license, and nursing position. The sampling was best suited for the study as it enabled the study to obtain the perspectives of staff nurses that were directly involved with student nurses.

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Ethical Consideration

           This study ensured that every participant’s rights were well observed, following research principles (Houser, 2018 p. 549). By so doing, no violent means were used to demand a participant’s response or inclusion in the study; it was voluntary. Furthermore, information about a participant’s personal life was consensually exposed. This means that a participant had the choice to contribute to the research and remain anonymous. The researchers also had respect for participants and allowed any individual who considered withdrawing to do so at will. Participants’ honest opinions were received as delivered, and none was manipulated to respond in any particular way. 

Data Collection

           Houser (2018 p 580) notes that research’s credibility as proof for any activity depends on finding and measuring the right things. In this study, researchers used experienced nurses from six acute healthcare facilities that operate in five southeastern United States and are not-for-profit. Five clinical registered nurses serving as clinical rotation role models and student preceptors completed the content validity and software execution. Senior healthcare managers for each hospital emailed their RNs, under researchers’ requests, asking for their participation in the survey. Approximately 3,700 nurses were reached through an email, which guaranteed their privacy or confidentiality if they agreed to turn up for it. Only 391 RNs responded. Collected data was directly transferred through Survey Monkey to IBM SPSS for analysis. The study had a low response rate which affects the credibility of the findings.

Data Analysis

           According to Houser (2018 p 582), data analysis is essential in summarizing the collected data. The researchers used SPSS v.22 to analyze the data. The analysis was done without any support or financial sponsorship from anywhere. The SPSS software used is approved by various researchers as reliable and cannot cause any errors. The researchers, nonetheless, do not explicitly state the type of statistical tests used in the study. Similarly, they do not identify type 1 error (p-value) or type 2 error explain what these terms mean to use your Houser text because no hypotheses were clearly stated. Type 1 and Type 2 errors in empirical research are effective in the testing of hypotheses. Following Houser’s (2018) assertions, Type 1 error happens when the researcher has rejected the null hypothesis that is true in the population while type 2 errors occur when an investigator does not reject a hypothesis that is false in a population. 

Validity and Reliability

The validity and reliability of a study determine whether the research findings are adequately comprehendible and applicable by both the reader and the researcher (Houser, 2018). To ensure the validity of research, various measurements have to be done, including observation, statistical analysis, regulation of bias, and suitable design (Houser, 2018). This study has not explicitly stated how the validity and reliability of the processes and the information collected were verified.

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What do Nursing Students Contribute to Clinical Practice
What do Nursing Students Contribute to Clinical Practice


           The outcome of the positive impression was much more when compared with the dissatisfactions. The study found that students were highly instrumental in the facilities and the beneficial RNs, who more than often enjoyed hosting them and acting as their role models (Morrison & Brennaman, 2016). Respondents also shed light on the fact that problem students bring frustration to the RNs. Nonetheless, the researchers fear that the study’s main limitation is that the respondents were RNs and might submit biased information in opinion sharing. 

Nursing Implications

           The authors have not clearly stated the strengths and weaknesses of this study. However, one of its strengths is that it gives further studies on improving the relationships between nursing students and experienced nurses. Its weakness can be seen where it does not delve into understanding how satisfied the students are with the RNs appointed to be their role models and student preceptors.

This study provides me with useful insights into the student-nurse relationship, which inspires me to visualize students positively and be the exact typical role model they would want to be in their nursing career. It underlines that it is essential to be actively engaged in practice and with other nurses, as this creates a positive practice environment that promotes staff development and professional growth.


Houser, J. (2018). Nursing Research: Reading, Using, and Creating Evidence (4th Ed.). Jones and Bartlett Learning.

Morrison, T. L., & Brennaman, L. (2016). What do nursing students contribute to clinical practice? The perceptions of working nurses. Applied Nursing Research, 32, 30-

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