The Experience of Australian Bachelor of Nursing Students Undertaking a Clinically-Focused, Service Learning Placement in the Solomon Islands

Awarding Institution

University of Southern Queensland

Date of Award


Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Nursing MNurs


Faculty of Nursing and Health

First Advisor

Associate Professor Roslyn Reilly

Second Advisor

Professor Cath Rogers Clark


International undergraduate clinical nursing placements are becoming a more accepted alternative to local clinical nursing placements, and have been identified as contributing to positive learning experiences. The purpose of this study is to explore and describe the lived experience of Australian student nurses participating in a clinically focused service-learning placement in the Solomon Islands. It aims to capture their perception of learning whilst working in a clinical setting in a developing country.

An interpretive, phenomenological study design was used. The participants comprised seven senior Bachelor of Nursing students, studying in Sydney, Australia. Participation in the study was entirely voluntary and not linked to grading or satisfaction of requirements needed to complete their degree course. Data was collected via both semi-structured interviews and a group presentation after participation in the placement.

After analysis, six themes describing the participants perceived areas of learning resulted. These were (i) collaboration; working side-by-side, (ii) emerging confidence, (iii) appreciation, (iv) adaptability and creativity, (v) ignited passion for increased faith and (vi) cultural considerations.

These areas of learning inform nursing faculty of the usefulness of an international clinical learning experience in a developing country and may guide future teaching within the subject areas of primary health care, community health nursing and clinical subjects. These findings will inform faculty when organising future international opportunities for clinical placement and provide insight to future curriculum development.


Master of Nursing (MNurs) Thesis. Univeristy of Southern Queensland

At the time of writing Sonja Frischknecht was affiliated with Avondale College.

Staff and Students of Avondale College may access a print copy of this dissertation from Avondale College Library (610.730711 F91)

Please refer to publisher version or contact the library.