When are nursing students on clinical placements ready to expand their learning repertoire?

Marlene Holmberg, Bente Kjærgaard Stisen, Sarah M. Grau, Kirsten Nielsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Learning styles indicate an individual’s preferred way of learning. Research suggests that it is important for students on clinical placements to begin the learning process with the preferred learning style and subsequently develop their ability to use other styles and become more balanced learners. What is unknown is when baccalaureate nursing students are ready to develop the other learning styles, and what facilitates such an expansion in their learning style repertoire? This is important, because students need to develop the abilities to learn both by acting and by deepen their knowledge of theory to meet the requirements of the nursing profession. An American study found that operating room students felt confident to adopt new learning styles by the third week of clinical placements. No studies to date have retrieved a similar pattern of readiness to expand learning style repertoire among nursing students. Therefore, the aim of our study was to investigate when students are ready to expand their learning style repertoire in a Baccalaureate Nursing Programme and to investigate the factors that influence such an expansion. Data were generated through participant observations and interviews. The findings indicated that students were ready in different weeks, and that interaction with nurses, the context, and the type of ward in the clinical placement were crucial factors for students to be able to expand their repertoire. The conclusion was that both students and preceptors need to be ready before students can adopt and develop other learning styles.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Nursing Education and Practice
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)10-21
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2018


  • learning, educational science and teaching
  • disease, health science and nursing
  • education, professions and jobs
  • research designs, theory and method


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