Identifying self-presentation components among nursing students with unsafe clinical practice: a qualitative study

Mostafa Ghasempour, Akram Ghahramanian, Vahid Zamanzadeh, Leila Valizadeh, Laura A. Killam, Mohammad Asghari-Jafarabadi, Majid Purabdollah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Background: Maintaining patient safety is a practical standard that is a priority in nursing education. One of the main roles of clinical instructors is to evaluate students and identify if students exhibit unsafe clinical practice early to support their remediation. This study was conducted to identify self-presentation components among nursing students with unsafe clinical practice. Methods: This qualitative study was conducted with 18 faculty members, nursing students, and supervisors of medical centers. Data collection was done through purposive sampling and semi-structured interviews. Data analysis was done using conventional qualitative content analysis using MAXQDA10 software. Results: One main category labelled self-presentation emerged from the data along with three subcategories of defensive/protective behaviors, assertive behaviors, and aggressive behaviors. Conclusion: In various clinical situations, students use defensive, assertive, and aggressive tactics to maintain their professional identity and present a positive image of themselves when they make a mistake or predict that they will be evaluated on their performance. Therefore, it seems that the first vital step to preventing unsafe behaviors and reporting medical errors is to create appropriate structures for identification, learning, guidance, and evaluation based on progress and fostering a growth mindset among students and clinical educators.

Original languageEnglish
Article number524
Number of pages13
JournalBMC Medical Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • Nursing student
  • Patient Safety
  • Qualitative Research
  • Self-Presentation
  • Unsafe practice

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