Japanese nursing students' sense of belonging: A story of Uchi (insider) and Soto (outsider)

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Nurse Education in Practice, 2016, 20 pp. 85 - 92
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© 2016 Elsevier Ltd Clinical placement experiences are the cornerstone of nursing education and a body of literature indicates that belongingness is fundamental to students' learning when undertaking placements. However, little is known about Japanese nursing students’ sense of belonging and how it is influenced by their cultural values. The aim of this paper is to profile a study that: measured the extent to which Japanese nursing students’ experience a sense of belonging in clinical placements, and explored the factors that impact on and are consequences of that experience. A mixed methods design was used with quantitative data collected using the Belongingness Scale-Clinical Placement Experience and qualitative data collected using semi-structured interviews. Ninety-two third and fourth year students from a large regional university in Japan completed the questionnaire; of these six also participated in interviews. The results identified similarities and differences between this and other studies of belongingness. Supportive and welcoming clinical environments facilitated participants' belongingness and motivation to learn. However, the belongingness scores of this sample were lower than those in all other studies. This may be explained, in part, by the Japanese cultural values of “Uchi (insider) and Soto” (outsider), which pervaded the participants’ placement experiences and led to feelings of exclusion and alienation.
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