Background: Nursing students have to deal with many different clinical and practical aspects of knowledge to become skilled professionals. Student perception may be considered an indicator of teaching quality, since positive perception of students is strictly related to their effective professional learning. The Clinical Learning Environment and Supervision plus Nurse Teacher (CLES+T) scale is considered the gold standard psychometric instrument to evaluate both the quality and the climate of clinical learning environment.

Aims: To evaluate the quality of nurse teaching by means of CLES+T scale and to highlight significant correlations between CLES+T scale and selected characteristics of both students and clinical environments.

Methods: On 4 March 2013, a cross-sectional survey was conducted at University of Modena: CLES+T scale was administered during a plenary convocation to 242 nursing students who attended the second and third years of Nursing Degree. All 34 items of the scale were statistically analysed using the median test.

Results: The median values were uniformly represented by “4” level (on the Likert scale). The final marks of clinical learning experience were the only variable statistically significantly related to the scale scores. The paediatrics and emergency areas obtained the highest scale scores.

Conclusions: The nursing student evaluations were uniformly positive and related to their positive final marks. A positive ward atmosphere was identified as especially important in this study. These data indicate that a non-hostile and hospitable environment can favour the best clinical learning. We conclude that CLES+T scale can be a useful instrument to explore the clinical climate in all hospital areas and to highlight critical clinical situations.

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