Undergraduate nursing students' learning experiences of a telehealth clinical practice program during the COVID-19 pandemic: A qualitative study

Nurse Educ Today. 2022 Apr;111:105297. doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2022.105297. Epub 2022 Feb 9.


Background: Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, nurse education institutions are required to create innovative and diverse educational methods to ensure the continued learning of undergraduate nursing students. We developed a telehealth clinical practice program to address this challenge.

Objectives: We explored the students' learning experiences of our telehealth clinical practice program by qualitatively analyzing student reports.

Methods: The participants were fourth-year undergraduate students who had taken the telehealth clinical practice program at Hiroshima University. Data were collected as reports from the participants during clinical practice and analyzed using thematic analysis.

Results: Of the 59 students who completed the practical training, 26 agreed to participate in the study (consent rate: 44.1%). Sixteen themes emerged from the analysis as the students' learning experiences, and were classified into four thematic categories: (1) recognition of continued self-improvement required to become a nurse and development of a sense of ethics, (2) improvement of knowledge and practical skills in chronic care nursing, (3) acquisition of telehealth skills, and (4) learning through modeling and teamwork, and improvement of self-efficacy. Interacting with persons through telehealth provided an opportunity to learn directly about persons' lives and their experiences of illness, and helped participants develop a sense of responsibility and ethical nursing.

Conclusions: Our study findings indicate that undergraduate nursing students perceived that their attitude, knowledge and skill acquisition improved through this program. We believe that telehealth can have a place as a teaching strategy and this telehealth clinical practice program can be further enhanced the learning effects by combining it with face-to-face training and multidisciplinary education in the future.

Keywords: Chronic disease management; Clinical practice; Nurse education; Telehealth; Undergraduate students.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate* / methods
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • Qualitative Research
  • Students, Nursing*
  • Telemedicine*