Exploration of Clinical Learning Challenges among Moroccan Undergraduate Nursing Students

The Open Nursing Journal 30 Apr 2024 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/0118744346295835240405071522



Clinical learning is an essential component of nursing education. It strongly contributes to the acquisition of students’ clinical skills and enables them to link theory to practice. However, clinical learning is considered a challenging experience for undergraduate nursing students.


The study aimed to provide an in-depth understanding of the challenges experienced by undergraduate nursing students during their training in different clinical settings.


This study utilized a phenomenological qualitative design with data collected through semi-structured interviews. Thirty-four nursing students from the second and third years were interviewed between March and July 2023. The qualitative data were analyzed using thematic analysis following Braun and Clarke's six-step model.

Results and Discussion

The findings of the study revealed that all participants had experienced several challenges during their clinical learning, which had a negative impact on their skill development. As a result, four main themes emerged regarding the challenges associated with clinical learning, including the theory-practice gap, the unsupportive clinical environment, the lack of supervision and support, and the inappropriate scheduling of internships. Ultimately, all participants recognized the need for changes to be made to enhance learning in clinical settings.


The present study has concluded that Moroccan nursing students face numerous challenges when learning in clinical settings. This study contributes to the existing literature by providing guidelines for Moroccan nursing educators to effectively guide and support their students in clinical areas. Therefore, based on the findings of this study, further discussions regarding potential changes and future research can be conducted.

Keywords: Nursing education, Clinical learning, Students, Challenges, Qualitative research, Theory-practice gap, Clinical supervision.
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