Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing

Schools and Centres

Nursing and Midwifery

First Supervisor

Professor Selma Alliex

Second Supervisor

Associate Professor Kylie Russell


Clinical facilitators (CFs) are a fundamental resource for student registered nurses (RNs) as they facilitate the consolidation of theory and practice in preparation for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA). Health service providers (HSPs) and higher education providers (HEPs) require CFs to identify, assess and manage (I, A & M) the risks of final placement nursing students and, in doing so, protect risk to patient safety. This research aimed to explore the lived experience of CFs in Western Australia in identifying, assessing and managing risk of a student progressing to be a RN. The study used an interpretative phenomenological approach with Heideggerian hermeneutical principles and commentary to guide the exploration and analysis of nine in-depth interviews with CFs. Follow-up interviews substantiated the initial findings.

The five major themes identified were ‘The contexts’ of the HSPs’ and CFs’ toolboxes; the CFs’ ‘Responses to navigating current conditions’; and three phases of a final placement: termed ‘Navigating current traffic conditions’, ‘Forging ahead’ and ‘Reaching the destination’. The findings revealed how participants took this journey not only with students, but with other nurses, academics and colleagues. The Steering Towards Readiness framework developed during the study highlights how CFs rely on themselves and/or on other nurses to support students on a final placement. Students were identified as not being independent in the workplace and ready only with support. Further debriefing for CFs to better I, A & M risk was needed.

This research used an innovative approach to describe how the contexts, resources and attributes of nurses, students and CFs influence how risk to student readiness is identified, assessed and managed on a student’s final placement. The study paves the way for an examination of the likelihood of risk and possible strategies to actively engage the CF in a cooperative relationship with educational and health setting providers. Such a relationship may assist in the graduation of industry-ready and capable graduates.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."

Included in

Nursing Commons