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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Differences and commonalities in difficulties faced by clinical nursing educators and faculty in Japan: a qualitative cross-sectional study

Maki Taniyama1*, Ichiro Kai2 and Miyako Takahashi3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Nursing, International University of Health and Welfare, 1-2-25, Shiroyama, Odawara, Kanagawa, 2508588, Japan

2 The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 1130033, Japan

3 Department of Public Health, Dokkyo Medical University, School of Medicine, 880 Kita-Kobayashi, Mibu, Tochigi, 3210293, Japan

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BMC Nursing 2012, 11:21  doi:10.1186/1472-6955-11-21

Published: 25 October 2012



To clarify the current state of communication between clinical nursing educators and nursing faculty members and the perceived difficulties encountered while teaching nursing students in clinical training in Japan.


We collected data via focus group interviews with 14 clinical nursing educators, two nursing technical college teachers, and five university nursing faculty members. Interview transcripts were coded to express interview content as conclusions for each unit of meaning. Similar compiled content was categorized.


Difficulties in providing clinical training mentioned by both clinical educators and faculty members were classified into four categories: “difficulties with directly exchanging opinions,” “mismatch between school-required teaching content and clinical teaching content,” “difficulties with handling students who demonstrate a low level of readiness for training,” and “human and time limitations in teaching.” In some categories, the opinions of educators matched those of the faculty members, whereas in others, the problems differed according to position.


The Japanese culture and working conditions may affect communication between clinical educators and faculty members; however, a direct “opinion exchange” between them is crucial for improving the clinical teaching environment in Japan.