Background: Clinical practice enables nursing students to acquire essential professional skills, but little is known about nursing students' perceptions of the clinical learning environment (CLE) in Nepal. Objectives: To examine Nepalese nursing students' perceptions regarding the CLE and supervision. Design: A cross-sectional questionnaire design was used. Settings: Government and private hospitals in Nepal where the undergraduate nursing college students undertook their clinical practice. Participants: Students with clinical practice experience were recruited from years 2-4 of the B.Sc. nursing program in Nepal (n = 350). The final sample comprised 263 students. Methods: A self-administered questionnaire including demographic characteristics, latest clinical practice site, and general satisfaction was administered February-March 2014. The previously validated Clinical Learning Environment, Supervision and Nurse Teacher evaluation scale was used in the questionnaire. The analytical approach used exploratory factor analysis, assessments of the scale and sub-dimension reliability, correlations of factors between scale sub-dimensions, and multiple regression analysis. Results: Students' practicum satisfaction level at government hospitals was significantly higher than those at private hospitals (p < 0.0001). Five factors explained 85.7% of the variance, with minor factorial structure differences compared with the original scale. Reliability was confirmed (Cronbach's alpha = 0.93 for total scale, 0.76-0.92 for sub-dimensions). Inter-correlations between the five original sub-dimensions were 0.27-0.68 (p < 0.0001). Students undertaking their practicum in private hospitals evaluated their clinical placements significantly more negatively on most sub-dimensions than those in government hospitals. Multiple regression analysis revealed a significant positive relationship between satisfaction and pedagogical atmosphere (p < 0.0001). Conclusion: This is the first study to investigate nursing students' perceptions of the CLE in undergraduate nursing programs in Nepal. Students were satisfied with the CLE overall, but satisfaction varied by practicum hospital sector. The most influential factor explaining satisfaction was pedagogical atmosphere.
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