Reflective Learning Groups for Student Nurses

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15 Citations (Scopus)


An often-reported difficulty undergraduate student nurses confront in participating effectively in healthcare workplaces is the perceived mismatch between the experiences provided in the university setting and the practice setting. In particular, the pedagogical approaches currently employed in university settings are held to inadequately prepare graduates for the transition to their professional role. As part of a larger project exploring preparation for practice with healthcare professional students, a reflective learning group was piloted with a group of six 3rd-year undergraduate student nurses to redress this issue. This pedagogical approach was undertaken to assist in the facilitation of student nurses’ development of their professional role through the process of supported reflection. It has been suggested that reflection needs to be relocated in the context of practice, as in its current usage it often does not take into consideration the complexity of the workplace. Hence, the reflective learning group was conceived to be an approach for clearing a pathway through the often impenetrable complexity of engaging in a healthcare workplace and contextualising and understanding the practice of nursing. How the reflective learning group supports the development of students as agentic learners will be illustrated through appraisals of the students’ learning and growth that emerged from their participation in this group. The processes of establishing a reflective learning group, and the commitment required for a reflective learning group to be effective, are discussed. The opportunity that the reflective learning group provided in terms of a space in which the students could explore and challenge their values and assumptions about professional practice and organisational cultures and expectations is presented. Evaluation of the reflective learning group is offered which illustrates that the reflective learning group had given the students ‘a voice’ and that they felt more prepared for professional practice as a new graduate.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProfessional and Practice-based Learning
EditorsStephen Billett, Amanda Henderson
Place of PublicationDordrecht
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9789048139378
ISBN (Print)9789048139361
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameProfessional and Practice-based Learning
ISSN (Print)2210-5549
ISSN (Electronic)2210-5557


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