Theses Doctoral

Marginal Nursing Students: Clinical Nursing Faculty Perceptions

Akhtar, Salil David

The decision to pass or fail a nursing student should be based on a careful assessment of their clinical performance and a commitment to ensuring that they have the knowledge, skills, and behaviors needed to provide safe, effective, and compassionate care to patients. This decision is difficult for clinical nurse faculty, yet one that all educators face at some point in academia.

his qualitative descriptive study was conducted to explore the perceptions of the marginal nursing student by clinical nursing faculty. Bondy’s (1983) Criteria for Clinical Evaluation was used as the framework for this study, from which semi-structured questions for the interview guide were derived. Seventeen participants were interviewed from a large metropolitan tristate area (New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut). Each participant was a clinical nursing faculty holding a master’s or doctoral-level degree while still actively participating in their individual academic positions within their respective schools of nursing. The time spent in academia by the participants ranged from 3 to 38 years, while time spent as a registered professional nurse ranged from 13 to 49 years.

Despite the differences in nursing clinical specialties or length of time teaching in their individual institutions of higher learning, there were remarkable similarities in their experiences. Three major themes were generated from the data: (1) The Nervous and Anxious Nursing Student—Not Comfortable or Confident; (2) Student’s Inability to Effectively Prioritize Nursing Care—Needing Prompting; and (3) Weak or Average Student Requiring Improvement—However, Moldable into a Stronger Student.

Findings revealed that clinical nursing faculty perceives marginal students as facing a variety of challenges that can impact their academic success. Addressing the needs of marginal students requires a holistic approach that includes addressing their physical, emotional, and cognitive needs. Clinical nursing faculty can provide guidance, feedback, and reassurance to help marginal nursing students build their skills and confidence. By creating a supportive learning environment that fosters collaboration, teamwork, mutual respect, and adequate time on the clinical unit, marginal nursing students can overcome their anxiety and become confident and competent healthcare professionals.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Organization and Leadership
Thesis Advisors
Frederickson, Keville C.
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
May 24, 2023