Background: In nursing education, theoretical and practical knowledge are intertwined and integrated in the prospective nurses’ lifeworld. To enable this, and to develop a critical reflective approach, students should adopt a critical attitude. This study aims to gain a deeper understanding of the character of prospective nurses’ critical reflection.
Methods: This is a descriptive qualitative study. Data were gathered using written narratives, individual and focus group interviews. Qualitative content analysis was employed.
Results: Three themes were identified: being open to changes, distancing oneself, and challenging one’s understanding. In the first theme, students’ critical reflection was expressed through an openness to changes of self-perception and openness to professional development during the education. In the second theme, critical reflection was identified as variations on distancetaking.
Inserting distance from a direct experience makes the experience easier to process, understand and relate to the learner’s concept of nursing. In the third theme, courage to question what was taken for granted is identified as a necessity to challenging self-understanding and willingness to engage in uncertainty.
Conclusions: It would appear that the academic part of training, with the possibility of reflection in small groups, provides students with conceptual tools for reflective learning as well as giving them the opportunity to relate critically to professional practice and to the professional nurse role.
Toronto: Sciedu Press , 2017. Vol. 7, no 5, 55-61 p.