How student nurses' supernumerary status affects the way they think about nursing.

Helen Therese Allan*, Pam A. Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

BACKGROUND: Giving students supernumerary status fundamentally shifted the way the profession thought about student nurses' clinical learning, but it has not been without its critics. AIM: To examine how supernumerary status affects the way students think about nursing. METHOD: A qualitative study over two years included a literature review, consultation and focus groups with stakeholders, formal and informal interviews with student nurses and clinical stakeholders, and observation in clinical areas. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: We suggest there is an increased division of labour between registered andnon-registered staff, so student nurses observe healthcare assistants performing bedside care and RNs undertaking more technical tasks. This leads students to reject bedside care as part of nursing. Our data suggests that being associated with such work in their supervised practice may lead to students feeling stigmatised. This can then leave them feeling unprepared for their future role as qualified nurses who do not have time to perform such tasks. CONCLUSION: There is dearly a mismatch between qualified and student nurses' views of what nursing is and what student nurses need to learn.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-13
Number of pages4
JournalNursing Times
Issue number43
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


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