Clinical imprinting: promoting excellence in undergraduate nursing education

Nicky Andrew

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

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The literature recognises a relationship between clinical experience and a successful undergraduate experience in nursing; however what constitutes an effective approach remains the subject of debate, particularly in relation to first year learning and experience. There is evidence from a biological standpoint that early experience impacts on the behavioural development of animals, described by Konrad Lorenz (1903-1989) as ‘imprinting’. The concept of imprinting has resonance for nursing. In this paper the importance of ‘getting it right at the beginning’ is explored in relation to Lorenz’s work and what it tells us about the impact of early clinical learning and development.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


  • undergraduate nursing students
  • nursing education


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