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The Process of Senior Nursing Student-Patient Connection: Student and Clinical Nursing Faculty Perceptions Open Access


Other title
medical-surgical nursing
Glaserian Grounded Theory
nursing education
nursing student-patient relationship
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
White-Williams, Hazel K R
Supervisor and department
Williams, Beverly (Faculty of Nursing)
Day, Rene (Faculty of Nursing)
Examining committee member and department
Myrick, Florence (Faculty of Nursing)
Olson, Joanne (Faculty of Nursing)
Profetto-McGrath, Joanne (Faculty of Nursing)
Paul, Pauline (Faculty of Nursing)
Jillings, Carol (Faculty of Nursing, University of British Columbia)
Cave, Marie (Faculty of Medicine)
Faculty of Nursing

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
The process of senior nursing student-patient connection: Student and clinical nursing faculty perceptions Abstract Background: With the current national shortage of nurses, technical aspects of nursing practice are emphasized, often to the detriment of relational aspects of patient engagement. A major concern in undergraduate nursing education today is how to help nursing students develop their skills and abilities to fully engage with their patients. There is little or no evidence about this process in the literature, specifically about how nursing students connect with their patients. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the process of connecting in the student-patient relationship from both the student and clinical nursing faculty perceptions. The following research questions guided this study: 1. How do senior nursing students describe their connection with patients? a. What is/are the process(es) of connection in the senior nursing student-patient relationship? b. What factors influence the process of connection? 2. How do clinical nursing faculty describe senior nursing student-patient connection? a. What are the dimensions of this connection? b. What factors influence the connection? Design: A Glaserian grounded theory approach was used with individual student semi-structured interviews and one focus group session with clinical nursing faculty. All interviews and the focus group session took place in a designated area in the Faculty of Nursing. Sample: Purposive and theoretical sampling was used to recruit 4th year undergraduate nursing students who were enrolled in a 4th year medical-surgical clinical nursing course. The students practiced in acute adult medical-surgical settings. The students understood and spoke English, and were able and willing to reflect upon and articulate their experiences. The clinical nursing faculty were recruited from those currently teaching a 4th year medical-surgical clinical nursing course at the time of the study. Data Collection & Analysis: In accordance with the grounded theory approach, data collection and analysis occurred simultaneously. The ‘constant comparative analysis’ technique was used. Results: I developed a theory grounded in data about the process of connection within the senior nursing student-patient relationship. This research adds depth of knowledge to our understanding and is valuable in informing nursing education and continuing competence processes in nursing practice. Keywords: nursing student-patient relationship, connection, mutuality, Glaserian grounded theory, nursing education, medical-surgical nursing.
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File title: The third criteria for rigour is relevance. If a theory fits and works, then relevance is met (Glaser, 1992). By allowing core issues and processes to emerge from the data, I achieved relevance. In addition, the theory emerged from the data, and ...
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