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This study is aimed at assessing the nursing students’ perceptions of clinical nursing training in selected nursing programmes in Enugu State. Five specific objectives and two null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. Descriptive cross-section design was adopted. Purposive sampling technique was used to select the nursing programmes and the class level of the students. A total population of 442 nursing students was used for the study. A self-developed questionnaire in 4 point modified Likert type scale with reliability of 0.970 was used for data collection. The questionnaire was distributed to the students in the classroom setting with 99.77% return rate. Information derived from the questionnaire were subjected to descriptive and t-test statistics testing at 0.05 level of significance. Results were presented in Table as frequencies, percentages, means and standard deviations. Findings revealed that nursing students had positive perceptions in clinical placement, clinical teaching and clinical evaluation but revealed that the students showed negative perception in clinical supervision. There were significant differences in perception of clinical training between the university-based and hospital-based nursing students (P-value < 0.05). There was no significant difference in the perceptions of clinical training between the male and female nursing students (P-value > 0.05), but female nursing students showed negative perception in clinical supervision. It is therefore recommended that; enough clinical supervisors should be employed and equal attention should be given to both male and female students, the university-based and hospital-based nursing students during clinical training etc. Suggestions for further studies were also made.

Background to the study
Nursing education consists of acquisition of a body of knowledge that is partly delivered in a classroom setting which forms the theoretical basis of nursing knowledge, and an organized and supervised clinical training experience that takes place in the clinical setting where the nurse-patient relationship is experienced directly or indirectly (Sheriff & Masoumi, 2005). Clinical nursing training is the most critical step in transforming nursing education, because that is really at the heart of getting the nurse ready for clinical setting; and for providing safe and excellent patients care. Students must be offered clinical experiences that are of highest quality and of interest.

Clinical nursing training provides a practical approach for training prospective nursing students to acquire practical skills for practice as nurses (Emerson, 2002). The heart and soul of nursing education is the clinical practicum where nursing knowledge is shaped into professional practice (Diekelmann, 2004). Thus, basic knowledge and skills; and the ability to apply knowledge into the actual practice of nursing is developed and inculcated into the student nurses during clinical training. Barnes, Sutphen, Leonard and Day (2009) also stated that clinical nursing education is a fundamental part of nursing education and forms more than half part of nursing curriculum.

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