Implementing a new pedagogy in the nursing curriculum: Bachelor students’ evaluation

Jan Gunnar Dale, Bjørg Dale


Background: Inspired by the work of Benner and colleagues at Carnegie Foundation, a new course in nursing was implemented in the first study year’s curriculum in the bachelor program in nursing. The new nursing course included a shift from a lecture-only classroom based approach to a problem-based and case-based approach. Reflections and discussions in groups with fellow students and supervisors was the main activity. The aim of this study was to examine how the students experienced the new nursing course.

Methods: The survey study was conducted at a university in southern Norwegian. The sample consisted of students in two subsequent classes (n = 126 and n = 118), who had followed the new study plan in the first study year and the traditional study plan in the second study year. An electronic survey, including questions concerning the extent, quality and usefulness of the study plans were examined.

Results: The students were, in general, satisfied with the new nursing course regarding the content and quality. The teachers’ presence and ability to engage, challenge and facilitate reflection seemed to be decisive. Reflecting and discussing real-life patient cases in groups with fellow students and a supervisor was stimulating, motivating and useful for learning professional nursing.

Conclusions: A problem based, case-based pedagogy might increase the students’ preparedness for solving patient problems that they encounter in clinical settings. Cooperation and reflection in small groups with fellow students and the supervisor enhance nursing students’ clinical reasoning skills, and might contribute to reduce the gap between theory and practice.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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