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Promoting clinical scholarship in the clinical arena.

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Background: Across healthcare, the importance of clinical scholarship has been increasing in the clinical arena. Applying clinical scholarship in daily nursing practice is vital. Aim: The aim of the study was to explore and describe clinical scholarship in order to develop recommendations to promote clinical scholarship in the clinical arena. Methodology: The study was conducted at a university in South Africa and adopted a sequential explanatory mixed-methods approach. Data collection was done in two phases. Phase One, the quantitative phase, focused on questionnaires involving eighty-one clinical specialist nursing students (CSNS). Phase Two focused on individual interviews with CSNS and clinical experts. Data saturation was reached after interviewing eight CSNS and four clinical experts. The interviews were analysed using latent-content analysis. Findings: Quantitative findings revealed that funding was the most common barrier to clinical scholarship. Re-examining criteria for promotion and reward all forms of scholarship was identified as preferred solutions to clinical scholarship. Qualitative findings revealed nine categories that of: academic excellence, importance of research to practice, scholarship overlooked, poor communication, resources, encouragement of scholarship activity scholarship culture, responsive teaching and attibutes in teaching clinical scholarship. These were further divided into subcatogories. Recommendation: In order to promote and develop CS, nurses should embrace a culture of CS as a fundamental principle in clinical practice. Further to that, the academic institution and clinical arena should support each other to promote nurses’ progress on the CS front, and resources should be made available to encourage nurses to pursue a CS track. Conclusion: The CSNSs and CEs are enthusiastic supporters of CS. Their support expressed a positive perspective towards clinical scholarship, where a synergy between academia and clinical management is needed to promote a CS culture.


Master of Nursing. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, 2017.