Understanding Reflection from the Perspective of Baccalaureate Nursing Students
Review TypeNone: Degree-based Submission
Repository Posting Date2019-09-18T12:55:59Z
Author(s)Greenawald, Deborah A.
Author DetailsDeborah A. Greenawald, RN, PhD
Lead Author Sigma AffliationUpsilon Zeta
Level of EvidenceOther
Research ApproachQualitative Research
Across the nation, nurse educators are seeking to meet the needs of students with diverse learning characteristics within increasingly complex academic and clinical environments. One teaching-learning strategy that has been used is reflection; however, there is a notable lack of consensus among educators and researchers about the specific nature of reflection. The purpose of this study was to describe reflection from the perspective of baccalaureate nursing students. A review of the literature provided the context for the study, and was organized into four sections: Historical Perspectives, Models and Definitions of Reflection; Reflection in Nursing Practice; Reflection in Nursing Education; and Reflection in Other Disciplines. Using a qualitative descriptive design within a naturalistic paradigm, undergraduate nursing students currently at the junior or senior level in three generic baccalaureate programs were individually interviewed to answer to the question: "What is the nature of reflection for undergraduate nursing students?". The use of such a design facilitated the careful examination of descriptions of reflection offered by participants, allowing the researcher to look for common properties in the data and discern emerging themes through constant content comparison. Convenience sampling from nursing programs within southeastern Pennsylvania was utilized. Five main themes and 18 subthemes were identified in the analysis of data units from the interview transcripts. The main themes discovered included: Looking back to deepen understanding, Being mindful of thoughts and feelings, Gaining perspective, Giving words to experiences and emotions that have no right or wrong answer, and Using reflection for learning. Student quotes supporting both the major themes and subthemes gave evidence that reflection is generally a valued practice among undergraduate nursing students and contributed positively to their nursing education. Implications for nursing practice, nursing science, and nursing education are discussed. In particular, the findings from this study contributed to nursing research by providing information heretofore not addressed in the literature about the perceptions of undergraduate nursing students regarding reflection. Such information will allow nurse educators to better understand and contextualize its use for teaching and learning. Most students interviewed stated explicitly that they valued reflection and anticipated using it in their future professional practice. This finding points out the importance of including reflection/reflective activities in undergraduate nursing education and reinforces its importance for lifelong learning. Although the study was limited in its scope, utilizing a total of 16 students from three programs in a specific geographical area, it was significant to note that students' perceptions of the nature of reflection shared some common ideas depending on the program in which they were enrolled. It was apparent from the analysis that individual nursing education programs and faculty are influential over baccalaureate students' thoughts about and use of reflection. Future research building on this study may validate and refine the identified themes and explore the manner in which these may support existing models of reflection in nursing.
DescriptionThis dissertation has also been disseminated through the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. Dissertation/thesis number: 3436845; ProQuest document ID: 821979351. The author still retains copyright.
Degree GrantorWidener University School of Nursing
NotesThis item has not gone through this repository's peer-review process, but has been accepted by the indicated university or college in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the specified degree.
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