In a qualitative study that sought to understand the effect that nurses have on the motivation of nursing students, Nasrin, Soroor, & Soodabeh (2012) found observing nurses as role models played a role in student motivation within the clinical setting. Through semi-structured and interactive interviewing of nursing students and their instructors, the researchers gained insight into how a negative perception of moral virtue as it relates to nurses decreases motivation.

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Students who had witnessed lapses in humane care and patient rights, combined with anecdotal testimonies by patients concerning a lack of care, had the effect of being negative influences in the clinical education outcomes of individual students (Nasrin, et al., 2012). Conversely, nurses who were viewed by students as being positive role models, treating patients with care while respecting their rights, had the effect of improving the motivation of student nurses while in the clinical setting.

Stuart (2013) argues that assessments are motivational tools for nursing students because they incentivize work in clinical practice. In this sense, assessments are used in a way that support a positive learning environment, however Dale, Leland, & Dale (2013) found that assessments were an effective means of improving motivation, or a readiness to learn, only when conducted by mentors or supervisors who are supportive and respective. In their study, Dale, et al., (2013) interviewed bachelor-level student nurses and found that assessments were not the panacea Stuart (2013) had claimed them to be, “The fact that they are controlled and assessed in their clinical studies makes the students feel dependent and vulnerable” (Dale, et al., 2013, p. 6).

In order for assessments to be positive motivational tools and, thus, key to the development of nursing students it is necessary for supervisors and mentors to create learning opportunities as well as relationships that invite open communication that includes both positive and negative feedback (Dale, et al., 2013).

  • Dale, B., Leland, A., & Dale, J. G. (2013). What Factors Facilitate Good Learning Experiences
    in Clinical Studies in Nursing: Bachelor Students’ Perceptions. ISRN nursing, 2013. 1-7. doi: 10.1155/2013/628679
  • Nasrin, H., Soroor, P., & Soodabeh, J. (2012). Nursing challenges in motivating nursing students
    through clinical education: a grounded theory study. Nursing research and practice, 2012. 1-7. doi: 10.1155/2012/161359
  • Stuart, C. C. (2013). Mentoring, learning and assessment in clinical practice: A guide for nurses,
    midwives and other health professionals. London, UK: Elsevier Churchill Livingston.