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Aim/objective: To record and learn from the experiences of students working on clinical placement in a pandemic. Background: In March of 2020, final and second year student nurses in England were given the option to join the Covid-19 pandemic work-force, paid as high-level health care assistants.

Methods/design: Using qualitative methods and rapid analysis techniques, this study gathered the unique experiences of 16 final year students, from all fields of nursing at a University in the East of England, who chose to complete their final extended placement in a diverse range of clinical placements at the height of the first wave of the pandemic. Data was collected between July and September 2020.

Results: Five key themes were identified across our data: rationale for undertaking the extended placement, role tensions, caring for patients and their families, the impact on teaching and learning, and personal health and wellbeing.

Conclusions: While our participants reported largely positive experiences including a perceived heightened preparedness for qualification, their experiences provide important insights for nurse educators for the education and support of future students going into similar situations, in particular relating to welfare and support, preparation for placement, resilience, e-learning and learning on the front line.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103186
Number of pages8
JournalNurse Education in Practice
Early online date11 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Experiences
  • Pandemic
  • Rapid analysis
  • Student nurses
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Pandemics
  • Students, Nursing
  • Humans
  • Nurses
  • Qualitative Research
  • Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate


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