The purpose of this study was to explore and describe students’ perceptions of clinical instructor characteristics that affect their clinical experiences.BACKGROUND
Clinical instructors can have a profound impact on student clinical experiences, yet little is known about what clinical instructor characteristics promote and hinder quality clinical experiences from the student perspective.METHOD
A multisite prospective, descriptive exploratory design was used.RESULTS
Students ranked instructor knowledge and support as the highest desirable characteristics, followed by patience, creating challenges, enthusiasm, and organization. Emerging themes from the content analysis revealed that the ability of the instructor to convey knowledge, demonstrate professionalism, and exhibit enthusiasm and caring were key characteristics that influence the clinical experience.CONCLUSION
Nurse educators can use the results of this study to target hiring and placing of desired characteristics of clinical instructors and to support mentoring programs that promote clinical teaching excellence.