Night Shift as a Clinical Placement Strategy: A Qualitative Analysis of Nursing Students’ Experiences in North-Eastern Namibia
Clinical placement strategies facilitate clinical learning, which students and nurse educators consider to be a foundation in nursing training; they gain the ability to develop expected competencies. Night shift is one of the clinical placements used in nursing education, yet many studies globally only focus on students’ experiences of clinical placement during the day shift. It is not explicitly known how the nursing students in north-eastern Namibia experience the night shift as part of their clinical placement strategies. The focus of this article is on exploring and describing how nursing students in north-eastern Namibia have experienced the night shift as part of their clinical placement. The study was conducted at the university campus located in north-eastern Namibia. A qualitative approach, with phenomenology, was used as research design. Data were collected via focus group discussions with 18 nursing students who were purposively selected until data saturation was reached. Data analysis followed content analysis. The trustworthiness of the study was ensured using the criteria of Lincoln and Guba. The ethical principles of justice, beneficence, confidentiality, anonymity, and non-maleficence were also considered. Three main themes emerged: nursing students experienced the night shift as a beneficial clinical placement; there were negative experiences for nursing students when the night shift was used as a clinical placement; and there are strategies to strengthen the night shift as a clinical placement strategy. Nursing students in north-eastern Namibia have both positive and negative experiences of night shift clinical placement. Therefore, the School of Nursing should continue to use night shift as a clinical placement strategy, provided interventions are put in place to strengthen it and to make the learning environment more conducive.