BACKGROUND : Student nurses (SNs) experience emotional discomfort during placement in the clinical psychiatric learning environment. This may negatively influence their mental health. Limited support is available to assist both SNs working with persons with intellectual disabilities and nurse educators during clinical accompaniment.
OBJECTIVES : This article aims to discuss the generation of this framework to enhance student support. METHOD : A theory-generative, qualitative, exploratory, descriptive, contextual design was utilised to develop the framework by applying four steps. In step 1 concept analysis identified the central concept through field work. Data were collected from 13 SNs purposively selected from a specific higher educational institution in Gauteng through two focus group interviews,reflective journals, a reflective letter, naïve sketches, drawings and field notes and analysed with thematic coding. The central concept was identified from the results, supported by a literature review and defined by essential attributes. The central concept was classified through a survey list and demonstrated in a model case. In step 2 the central concepts were placed into relationships with each other. The conceptual framework was described and evaluated in step 3 and guidelines for implementation were described in step 4. The focus of this article will be on generating the conceptual framework. RESULTS : The central concept was ‘the facilitation of engagement on a deeper emotional level of SNs’. The conceptual framework was described and evaluated. CONCLUSION : The conceptual framework can enhance the educational practices of nurse educators and can SN’s practices of care for persons with intellectual disabilities.