When Things Go Wrong: A Qualitative Study of Nursing Students' Views of Clinical Mistakes


  • Razanah Rosli PAPRSB Institute of Health Sciences, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Brunei Darussalam.
  • Yusrita Zolkefli PAPRSB Institute of Health Sciences, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Brunei Darussalam.




Mistakes, Nursing, Brunei, Views, Errors, Students, Nurses


Background: The hospital environment is frequently perceived by students as both dynamic and complex. Thus, clinical mistakes are considered inevitable and have adverse patient outcomes. The study explored nursing students' insights and experiences of mistakes in their clinical practice.

Methods: The study adopted an exploratory qualitative research design with a sample of 11 nursing students from a higher institution in Brunei Darussalam. Data was collected through semi-structured online interviews with seven open-ended questions.

Results: The study identified three key themes: the interpretation of clinical mistakes, perceived concern about clinical mistakes and the support required by students. This study emphasised the importance of effective communication, a nurturing educational setting, and reflective practice on clinical mistakes to enhance nursing students' professional development.

Conclusion: The findings of the study suggest that nursing students had an understanding of the negative implications associated with clinical mistakes. According to the students, the act of making mistakes is perceived to be valuable for both personal and professional development. Effective supervision, cultivating a constructive rapport, and developing trust make it possible to prevent clinical mistakes. Furthermore, the students emphasised the need to cultivate confidence, as it directly impacts their clinical proficiency. Therefore, a greater priority on patient safety should be incorporated into the curriculum to improve the management and prevention of clinical mistakes. Particular attention should also be paid to enhancing clinical learning through strengthened supervision by both supervisors and nurse educators. Most importantly, students must be able to recognise their responsibility to employ a proactive learning strategy to ensure patient safety and the efficacy of their clinical practicum.


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How to Cite

Rosli, R. ., & Zolkefli, Y. (2023). When Things Go Wrong: A Qualitative Study of Nursing Students’ Views of Clinical Mistakes. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CARE SCHOLARS, 6(3), 63–72. https://doi.org/10.31436/ijcs.v6i3.340

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