Situating theory in practice: student views of theory-practice in Project 2000 nursing programmes



In this paper the views of student nurses taking Project 2000 at a Scottish College of Nursing are reported A random sample of 19 students were interviewed The interviews focused on the relationship between the college course and the students’experiences on placement The majority had difficulty in relating the college course to their practice, except when it came to very specific parts of the programme, for example basic medical procedures Only a minority could integrate the broader aspects of the course to their practice, largely because there was such a long period of time between studying a topic in college and the related placement It is tempting to see the results as supporting the situated cognition hypothesis that theory loses meaning out of context, and it is evident, even from this limited study, that the success of Project 2000, with its emphasis on the‘knowledgeable doer’, could depend, to a great extent, on the careful phasing of college coursework and placement to enable students to integrate theory and practice more effectively