Preparing Nurses to Practice in Contemporary Health Care Systems: An Analysis of the Instructional and Supervisory Practices as Perceived by Nursing Faculty Teaching in Clinical Settings
Taylor, Dianne E.
Gambrell, Linda B.
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The purpose of this descriptive study was to determine the nature of the perceived instructional and supervisory practices utilized by clinical nursing faculty during the clinical teaching of baccalaureate nursing students. A survey research design was used to collect data by means of a self-administered questionnaire consisting of thirty-three multiple choice and open-ended questions. The questionnaire was distributed to 95 full and part-time clinical undergraduate nursing faculty teaching in varied clinical settings in five baccalaureate nursing programs (both public and private) in the State of Maryland. The questionnaire was completed by 72 nursing faculty representing a 76% rate of return. The results of the study indicated that faculty spend at least thirty percent of the clinical time instructing students and seventy percent of the time supervising students. The faculty indicated that they use teaching methods which might be categorized as "student-centered" a greater percent of the time than the methods categorized as "teacher-centered". The results of the study indicated that faculty are using all types of questioning strategies during the clinical experience. Five of the nine questioning strategies which are advocated as increasing higher-order thinking skills of students were reported as being used "frequently" to "most of the time" by a third or more of the faculty. When faculty are engaged in supervising students most of the time is spent in observation (51%), as opposed to role modeling (38%), conducting conferences (16%), analyzing data (13%) , or recording and processing data about the performance of the students (12%). The faculty reported that they spend between twenty and forty minutes observing an individual student, conduct a conference with the student prior to the observation, use informal notes during the observation, ·and conduct a post-observation conference immediately after the observation. The faculty in this study appeared to be using a structured system for observing and conferencing with students, which is similar to the clinical supervision model used in teacher education. The findings from the descriptive and quantitative analyses of the instructional and supervisory practices indicate that differences do exist among the clinical specialties.