Original Research

Experiences of nurse educators regarding the use of the clinical skills laboratory at the School of Nursing in the Free State province

Siphiwe T. Madlala, Agnes N. Mvandaba
Health SA Gesondheid | Vol 28 | a2077 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hsag.v28i0.2077 | © 2023 Siphiwe T. Madlala, Agnes N. Mvandaba | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 June 2022 | Published: 13 February 2023

About the author(s)

Siphiwe T. Madlala, Department of Nursing Science, Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering, University of Zululand, KwaDlangezwa, South Africa
Agnes N. Mvandaba, Department of Nursing Science, Free State School of Nursing, Eastern Campus, Phuthaditjhaba, South Africa


Background: Integration of theory to practice by student nurses is a challenge in most training institutions accredited by the South African Nursing Council (SANC). Nurse educators require a fully equipped and functional clinical skills laboratory to impart clinical competency knowledge to student nurses.

Aim: The purpose of this study was to understand the experiences of the nurse educators in teaching clinical skills to student nurses using the clinical skills laboratories.

Setting: The study was conducted at the School of Nursing in the Free State province in 2021.

Methods: A qualitative descriptive design was employed. Purposive sampling was used to select participants for the study. Unstructured one-on-one interviews were conducted with 17 nurse educators until data saturation was reached. Data were analysed thematically.

Results: The three major themes that emerged during data analysis and were discussed to make recommendations of the study are as follows: clinical skills laboratory environment; human and material resources; financial constraints.

Conclusion: This study revealed that there is a need for the use of the clinical skills laboratory by nurse educators to teach clinical practice to student nurses. Therefore, it is imperative that the study recommendations be considered for implementation to improve the use of the clinical skills laboratory.

Contribution: The importance of integrating theory to practice by using the clinical skills laboratory during clinical practice teaching by nurse educators will be understood.


clinical skills; clinical laboratory; nurse educator; student nurse; clinical practice


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