Authors: Marianne Craven
Clinical nursing faculty often work with students who underperform in the clinical area. Underperforming students are those who exhibit deficits in nursing knowledge, the application of nursing knowledge, psychomotor skills, motivation, and/or interpersonal skills. Outcomes of working with underperforming students have implications for patient safety and the nursing workforce. The purpose of this project was to develop a theoretical framework that describes how clinical faculty work with underperforming students in the clinical area. Twenty-eight nursing faculty who had worked with underperforming nursing students during clinical rotations were interviewed and invited to tell stories about working with these students. Their narratives were analyzed using constant comparison analysis, and a theoretical framework was developed. The framework included three stages that unfolded as faculty worked with underperforming students over time. The first stage, Being Present, was the process by which faculty came to know students were underperforming. The second stage, Setting a New Course, was the process by which faculty attempted to provide remedial experiences to improve the performance of those students determined to be underperforming. This process could result in students turning their performance around, making it through the clinical rotation, or not making it. The final stage, Being Objective, was the process by which participants made negative progression decisions. The findings of the study provide foundational information needed to begin the development of evidence-based strategies for faculty who work with underperforming students. Such strategies could have important implications for student success, faculty satisfaction, patient safety, and the nursing workforce.
Keywords: nursing; clinical faculty; underperformance; nursing student; student deficits; patient safety; student success