Do internship students do well in a clinical environment? A qualitative naturistic study


nursing students
nursing education
Saudi Arabia

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Alanazi, F. J., Alenezi, M. H. M., Alanazi, A. A. N., & Alanazi, T. S. R. (2023). Do internship students do well in a clinical environment? A qualitative naturistic study. Belitung Nursing Journal, 9(6), 539–546.
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Accepted for publication: 2023-11-04
Peer reviewed: Yes

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Background: The internship year marks the culmination of the nursing program across all Saudi universities, bridging theoretical learning and practical application. The significance of the internship year lies in the application of skills acquired during the preceding years of study. Understanding interns’ experiences, identifying influences, and sharing their recommendations for best practices become crucial.

Objective: This study aimed to explore the experiences of internship students and address the challenges they encountered in a clinical environment.

Methods: A qualitative naturistic descriptive approach was employed, involving 20 purposively selected participants from internship students in two regions in Saudi Arabia. Data were collected in January 2023 through semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions, and observation. A conventional content analysis approach was used for data analysis.

Results: Four major themes were generated: 1) Transferring Shock, 2) Self-Learning, 3) Supportive Environments, and 4) Factors Facilitating Learning. Transferring Shock comprised two subthemes: feeling lost and feeling left out.

Conclusion: Internship students acknowledged the utility of orientation and mentorship programs in advancing the practical skills of new nurses and enhancing patient safety. The findings also indicated that those with prior preparation and robust communication skills reported a positive experience. Consequently, integrating communication courses into the nursing education curriculum could be beneficial. Establishing a supportive learning environment for nursing interns is imperative to address challenges and ensure the delivery of safe and effective patient care.


Copyright (c) 2023 Fadiyah Jadid Alanazi, Mada Huwaydi M Alenezi, Atheer Abdullah N Alanazi, Taif Salem R Alanazi

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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Declaration of Conflicting Interest

The authors have declared no conflict of interest.


The authors would like to thank Prof. Fatiha A. Mersal and Dr. Normajean Colby for the final review of this study. The authors also extend their appreciation to the Deanship of Scientific Research at Northern Border University, Saudi Arabia, for approval of this research.

Authors’ Contributions

Study design [FJ, AA, & TS], data collection [MH, AA, TS, & FJ], data analysis [FJ, & MH], study supervision [FJ], manuscript writing [FJ, & MH], critical revisions for important intellectual content [FJ]. All authors approved the final version of the article to be published and were accountable for each step of the study.

Data Availability

The datasets generated during and analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

Declaration of Use of AI in Scientific Writing

Nothing to declare.


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