History as reflective practice: A model for integrating historical studies into nurse education

Kylie M. Smith, Angela Brown, Patrick A. Crookes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The role of history in developing professional identity in nursing is well known, and the discipline of nursing history research continues to flourish. Yet this work often struggles to find its way into undergraduate university nurse education courses.We put forward a model for "history as reflective practice" in which we suggest that historical studies can be used as a form of evidence to develop critical thinking and clinical reasoning, as well as situate nursing practice within its social and political context.In this model, we draw on historical scholarship related to the profession, practice and person, focusing on work which demonstrates nursing's contribution to broader systems of health care.Drawing on Lewenson and Lynaugh's 'history by stealth' approach, curriculum mapping and constructive alignment techniques are used to identify the moments in an existing programme where historical scholarship is relevant to an intended learning outcome. We then use an interdisciplinary team to develop learning activities and assessment tasks drawing on both primary and secondary sources that are then embedded within existing subjects.This model encourages students to consider history as a way of knowing and as a form of evidence within their reflective practice. Furthermore, it creates knowledge that continues to foster and acknowledge nurses', and nursing's, contribution to the development of human health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-347
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2015
Externally publishedYes


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