Exploring the Concept of Clinical Instructors’ Credibility from the “Triad of Perceptions” of Nurse Lecturers, Clinical Instructors and Students at Hawler Medical University




Journal Title

Journal ISSN



Volume Title


De Montfort University


Thesis or dissertation

Peer reviewed


Lately, there has been increasing attention in the research studies about clinical instructors’ role, such as clinical instructors’ effectiveness, but not competence and credibility. Source Credibility Theory (Hovland, Janis, and Kelley, 1953) suggests that teachers’ power of persuasion, and consequently, effectiveness is amplified when students view them as credible. The literature on clinical instructors’ effectiveness is bereft of studies on clinical instructors’ credibility. This is particularly surprising considering that clinical instructors play an important role for professional nursing education (Tanda and Denham, 2009).

Through a social constructivist lens, this thesis seeks to address the gap in current knowledge, providing a detailed understanding of the concept of clinical credibility by exploring the "perception between students, clinical instructors and lecturers. This is referred to as the triad of perception. Thirty-one participants (10 lecturers, 11 clinical instructors and 10 students) were selected from Hawler Medical University to take part in this qualitative study that apply phenomenological constructivist principles.

Data were analysed inductively using template analysis (King, 2004) to identify commonalities and themes. The findings revealed that clinical instructors should possess specific “personal qualities”, “clinical teaching qualities” and “nursing competence” to make them credible clinical instructors. More importantly, findings indicated that there was a meaningful difference in priority and emphasis on sun-themes; therefore, these results provide strong evidence that certain readily identified dimensions are most important for all the triad groups. The adoption of a social constructivist approach allowed this thesis to achieve evidence via examining multiple realities among social actors that provide a more holistic picture for the concept. Exploring the ‘clinical credibility’ concept in this way not only provided opportunities for future research and practice but also contributed to the development of overall knowledge. triad’s valuable insight about clinical instructors’ credibility have implications for both in-service clinical instructors and programs leaders concerned with teacher effectiveness, and subsequently, student learning. Finally, this thesis contributes to the development of social constructivist research in the fields of nurse education, by providing an example of how a triad of perceptions can be integrated to investigate a research question.





Research Institute