Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Nursing Best Practice Guidelines

Students and Clinical Placement


Student retention, stress and abuse are reported in the literature and are of significant importance. Nursing students encounter stress in the clinical setting as a result of actions of clinical faculty, actions of nursing staff peers, implementing nursing interventions, preparing for clinical assignments and encountering new clinical rotations 135.  Nursing students practice fewer health promoting behaviours than other students 136.  Some students experience verbal and academic abuse 137, 138.

Clinical Placements
A great deal of student learning is conducted in the clinical setting. Hence, the importance of mentors, preceptors and staff RNs as role models for student wellness cannot be understated. Donaldson and Carter 145 found that students assimilate role model behaviours for integration into their practice. Promoting and supporting knowledge about healthy work environments for mentors and preceptors is recommended as a way to enhance student exposure to these principles while also providing this valuable knowledge to practicing nurses 146.