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Learning Situations in Nursing Education: A Concept Analysis

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Background and purpose: The nursing student requires opportunities to learn within authentic contexts so as to enable safe and competent practice. One strategy to facilitate such learning is the creation of learning situations. A lack of studies on the learning situation in nursing and other health care fields has resulted in insufficient knowledge of the characteristics of the learning situation, its antecedents, and consequences. Nurse educators need to have comprehensive and practical knowledge of the definition and characteristics of the learning situation so as to enable their students to achieve enhanced learning outcomes. The aim of this study was to clarify the concept of the learning situation as it relates to the education of nurses and improve understanding of its characteristics, antecedents, and consequences. Methods: The Bonis method of concept analysis, as derived from the Rodgers' evolutionary method, provided the framework for analysis. Data collection and analysis were undertaken in two phases: "interdisciplinary" and "intra-disciplinary." The data source was a search of the literature, encompassing nursing and allied health care professions, published from 1975 to 2016. Results: No agreement on the conceptual phenomenon was discovered in the international literature. The concept of a learning situation was used generally in two ways and thus classified into the themes of: "formal/informal learning situation" and "biologic/nonbiologic learning situation." Antecedents to the creation of a learning situation included personal and environmental factors. The characteristics of a learning situation were described in terms of being complex, dynamic, and offering potential and effective learning opportunities. Consequences of the learning situation included enhancement of the students' learning, professionalization, and socialization into the professional role. Implication for Practice: The nurse educator, when considering the application of the concept of a learning situation in their educational planning, must acknowledge that the application of this concept will include the student's clinical learning experiences. More studies are required to determine factors influencing the creation of a successful learning situation from the perspectives of nurse educators and nursing students, clinical nurses and patients.
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Keywords: BONIS METHOD; CONCEPT ANALYSIS; EVOLUTIONARY; LEARNING; NURSING EDUCATION; SITUATION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 February 2018

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