Concepts in nurse education


Mike Walker, Lecturer in Education Brunei University, Runnymede Campus, Coopers Hill lane, Egham Surrey TW20 OJZ, England


This paper reports a case study of student and senior nurses at the Royal Free Hospital, London, England Qualitative methods were used to investigate the perceptions of nursing upon which students and senior nurses based their activities on the wards Differences were identified between the ways in which students and senior nurses ‘saw’ their day-to-day tasks Analysis showed that these differences were based upon differing levels of conceptualization Student nurses were found to operate with low levels of conceptualization and were thus unable to categorize or group the patients, procedures or problems confronting them Senior nurses, on the other hand, operated with a high level of conceptualization and were able to perceive similarities in objects, events and processes and to differentiate these into categories, classes or patterns This allowed them to prioritize lines of action and to respond to situations in a rational and effective way The problem for nurse education, then, is how best to enable students to develop a professional level of conceptualization Strategies are identified by which senior nurses might enable student nurses to develop concepts in relation to their nursing activities on the wards