International student nurses' experiences of clinical practice in the Finnish health care system

Lea Riitta Mattila, Marianne Pitkäjärvi, Elina Eriksson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this qualitative study was to describe international student nurses' experiences of their clinical practice in the Finnish health care system. The data were collected by semi-structured interviews. Fourteen international student nurses of African and Asian origin were interviewed, and the data were then analysed by qualitative content analysis. The results indicated that appreciative orientation, sense of belonging to the team, enhancing independent working, growing towards professionalism and working as a member of the team were descriptions of positive experiences. Descriptions of negative experiences were related to restricted learning and compromised human dignity, which lead to negative feelings of being an outsider, decreased self-esteem, sense of giving up and anticipation of difficulties. Despite the small sample size, the results indicate a need to develop clinical practice arrangements when the language of the learning environment is other than that of the student nurse. As the number of international students has increased in the Finnish health care sector and in nursing education, it is important to recognise the factors related to positive and negative experiences in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-157
Number of pages5
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Clinical practice
  • International student nurse
  • Positive and negative experiences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Education


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