Professional nurses’ perception of their clinical teaching role at a rural hospital in Lesotho

C N Nyoni, A J Barnard


Background. Nursing education institutions in Lesotho face an increasing number of enrolments owing to a high demand for professional nurses to work in the community. Enrolments have doubled during the last 3 years, without an increase in teaching resources or staff. Professional nurses in the wards are expected to mentor students and teach the clinical elements of nursing while continuing with their day-to-day clinical duties. Furthermore, professional nurses in Lesotho have not been trained for this clinical teaching role.
Objective. To explore the perceptions of professional nurses with regard to their clinical teaching role in the development of competent nurses.
Methods. A qualitative study was undertaken at a rural hospital in Lesotho. Data were gathered by conducting semi-structured interviews with professional
nurses. Interview transcripts were coded and emerging themes identified. Data saturation was reached after eight interview transcripts were analysed.
Results. Four themes representing the perceptions of the professional nurses emerged in the analysis: (i) the clinical teaching role; (ii) the complexities
of clinical teaching; (iii) learners have their issues; and (iv) making it work.
Conclusion. Professional nurses understand and appreciate their educational
role in the development of competent nurses. This clinical teaching role is performed in difficult circumstances, including administrative challenges, limited resources and staff shortages, while maintaining clinical responsibilities. Despite these challenges, the nurses have remained resilient and solution focused. Nursing education institutions should re-orientate professional nurses with regard to current trends and principles of nursing education to enhance their clinical teaching role.

Authors' affiliations

C N Nyoni, Paray School of Nursing, Thaba-Tseka

A J Barnard, Division of Family Medicine, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town

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Clinical teaching; Professional nurses; Nursing eduction institutions

Cite this article

African Journal of Health Professions Education 2016;8(2):166 - 168. DOI:10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i2.557

Article History

Date submitted: 2014-11-05
Date published: 2016-09-06

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