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• Storytelling is an effective educational tool.
• Stories can promote deep learning via reflection.
• Storytelling in a digital online environment is effective.
• Reflections on practice situations can inform future practice.
• Nursing students can use storytelling to bridge the gap between ideal and real practice situations.
This paper reports on the learning potential of a reflective activity undertaken by final year nursing students, in which they were asked to recount two meaningful events that occurred during their clinical placements over the duration of their 3-year nursing degree program and reflect on how these events contributed to their learning to become beginning level Registered Nurses (RNs). This descriptive qualitative study gathered narratives from 92 students as individual postings in an online forum created within the University’s learning management system. An analysis of the students’ reflections are the focus of this paper particularly in relation to the value of reflecting on the identified events. Four themes emerged that clearly highlight the way in which these students interpreted and learned from both positive and negative clinical experiences, their strong desire to fit into their new role and their ability to re-imagine how they might respond to clinical events when they become Registered Nurses. The findings of this study may contribute to developing nursing curricula that better prepares final year students for the realities of practice.
Journal: Nurse Education in Practice - Volume 20, September 2016, Pages 39–44