Background: Clinical learning environment is an important part of nursing education with significant effects on nursing students’ perceptions and experiences. The aim of this study was to explore nursing students’ reflections to determine the effects of the first rotation in the clinical learning environment of the oncology unit on their perceptions and practices.
Methods: A descriptive qualitative study design was used. Data were collected using reflective diaries of 40 fifth-semester nursing students about their experiences of learning in the oncology unit. The conventional content analysis was used for data analysis and using MaxQD 10 software.
Results: Participants’ perceptions of the clinical learning environment of an oncology unit were categorized into four main categories, namely challenging encounters, perceived needs, internal transcendence, and professional role development.
Conclusion: According to the results, nursing students' unpleasant experiences must be managed. Careful attention should be paid to the unique characteristics of this ward. Different educational strategies and clinical instructors’ roles as facilitators in challenging conditions are needed to promote nursing students’ clinical learning in oncology.