Educators agree that clinical experiences are vital to the development of a graduate nurse; however, there is little research on student learning outcomes related to these experiences.
The purpose of this systematic review was to examine qualitative studies of student learning in traditional clinical models.
A systematic review was conducted following the Joanna Briggs Institute and Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses criteria. Nine electronic databases were searched using 43 search terms. Full-text review was completed on 109 articles, with 26 undergoing critical appraisal.
Only 6 qualitative studies reported learning outcomes attributed to clinical education models, focusing on experiences in foreign clinical placements, nurse-run clinics, the night shift, transition to professional identity, practicing as a clinical dyad, and development of caring skills.
The results of the systematic review of qualitative research that studied outcomes of prelicensure clinical education were insufficient to provide recommendations for traditional clinical education that are supported by evidence.