An analysis of clinical teacher behaviour in a nursing practicum in Taiwan

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Aim and objectives

The aim of this study was to identify and assess the teaching behaviours (knowledge, attitudes and skills) observed in nurse educators as they taught in the clinical setting.


Many quantitative studies have defined and evaluated teaching effectiveness in the clinical area. Some of these studies established instruments to evaluate faculty effectiveness in the clinical setting; however, they tended to be so broad that they were of limited use in understanding clinical teaching behaviours in nursing education.


This study explored clinical teaching behaviours in a nursing practicum. Ten nurse educators taught 10 students in the medical–surgical unit at a hospital in Taiwan for about four weeks. Each teacher was observed by the researcher and one other observer for two days during regularly scheduled clinical teaching time.


Data collection and analysis were done by a qualitative approach. Content analysis is a process of identifying, coding and categorizing the themes in the data.


The themes of clinical teaching that emerged from data analysis included teaching aims (task-oriented and learner-centred), teacher competence (teacher knowledge, instructional strategies, planning learning experience, teaching priorities, feedback and caring) and teaching commitment (professional identity and giving of self). These findings offer a holistic blueprint of clinical teaching for nursing faculty members, which will enhance the quality of nursing education.

Relevance to clinical practice

Complexity in nursing education has increased as it is challenged to meet the needs of diverse populations in rapidly evolving and highly technical health-care settings. Clinical teachers must be enabled and empowered to provide students with appropriate knowledge and skills to meet the needs of patients. To develop students' professional nursing identity now and in the future, nurse educators have to commit themselves to both nursing and teaching in clinical settings. More nurses need to be prepared for careers in education at the master's and doctoral levels.

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