Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education and International Services


Leadership PhD

First Advisor

Shirley A. Freed

Second Advisor

Karen Allen

Third Advisor

Jimmy Kijai



Nursing education is a complex combination of classroom and clinical instruction. The clinical portion is usually divided into the pre-clinical conference, direct care, and the post-clinical conference. Many goals are listed in the literature as learning outcomes for the post-clinical conference. The purpose of this study was to describe the most important goals, meaning, rationale, and preparation for the post-clinical conference by clinical nursing instructors in associate degree and baccalaureate degree programs.


This study used a survey design with an instrument developed to identify clinical nursing instructors’ meaning, rationale, and preparation for the post-clinical conference. Two open-ended questions asked the instructors to define, in their own words, what the post-clinical is and is not.


ADNs and BSNs identified “Integrating clinical experience into what has been learned” and “Integrating theory with practice” as the two most important goals of the post-clinical conference. For both programs there was a significant difference between how the instructors prepared for the goals in comparison to their importance—they tended to not prepare for the goal to the same level as their identified importance of the goal with several exceptions for the BSNs. The BSNs allot more time for the post- clinical conference, begin more frequently on time, and use the scheduled amount of time for the post-clinical conference than the ADNs. BSNs also rated the goal “Learning the role of the nurse” higher than the ADNs.


This study shows that both nursing programs view the post-clinical conference as a necessary and valuable component of the clinical experience. Both agree that it is a time to make connections between theory and practice.

Subject Area

Nursing; Nursing--Study and teaching


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