Participating in a community of practice (CoP) is essential for final year nursing students. The article describes the opportunities of student nurses to participate as members of a CoP, and how these opportunities were exploited. Ten students in their final clinical practice were included. Empirical data were generated through participant observation and individual interviews, focusing on the participants' interaction with the staff and were analysed within a phenomenological-hermeneutic framework. The results showed that the students were to a greater or lesser extent participatory in the CoP, depending on what both the students and the members of the staff did to make participation possible. The conclusion is that the students' participation is strengthened by the students and nurses showing interest in getting to know each other professionally and socially and by the students having the opportunity to contribute their knowledge. There must be an awareness of the unfortunate consequence of formalisation of learning in practice which can create a distancing learning space in the informal learning landscape by drawing students out of active participation in community of practice. Depending on the extent to which these aspects are present, participation can become an essential factor in the clinical phase of nursing education.
Hounsgaard, L., Thrysøe, L., Dohn, N. B., & Wagner, L. (2010). Participating in a community of practice as a prerequisite for becoming a nurse - Trajectories as final year nursing students. Nurse Education in Practice, (10), 361-366. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nepr.2010.05.004