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  1. Neill, Kathleen M. DNSc, RN
  2. McCoy, Anne K. MS, RN
  3. Parry, Carolyn B. MS, RN
  4. Cohran, Jackie MS, RN
  5. Curtis, Judy C. MS, RN
  6. Ransom, Reba B. MS, RN


The learning experience of nursing students in their first clinical laboratory in a hospital was examined in a qualitative investigation. Graduate students in a nursing research seminar course participated as co-investigators in the study of clinical learning among sophomore nursing students. Findings revealed that sophomore students in nursing reflected on their role in the clinical setting and in nursing; pursued ways to learn in clinical settings; actively sought mentors; made connections to staff, patients, and peers; and searched for ways to validate the competence of their beginning skills. Parallels of the students' behaviors to the novice-to-expert paradigm were found. The study was valuable for both undergraduate and graduate students involved in the investigation.