Transformation and embodiment: nursing students' lived experiences of learning caring in nursing education
University of New Brunswick
Given the importance of caring in nursing, it was necessary to understand the lived experience of learning caring in nursing education. To promote meaningful learning in nursing education, knowledge about nursing students’ experiences of learning caring was necessary. Research related to the phenomenon of learning caring for nursing students was minimal, therefore a need existed for further description and understanding of learning caring from nursing students’ perspectives. This research study was conducted to explore the question, “What is it like for bachelor of nursing students in a four year program to learn caring in a curriculum that has caring as a core value?” The aims of the study were to understand: the meaning of caring for nursing students; the meaning of learning caring for nursing students; factors within nursing education that facilitate and/or limit learning caring for nursing students; and how caring is lived from the nursing students’ perspectives within a curriculum that has caring as a core value. van Manen’s (1997) qualitative phenomenological research approach was employed. In particular, selective thematic analysis, as described by van Manen was used to better describe and understand the lived experience of learning caring for nursing students. The lived experience of learning caring was made up of two phenomenological themes including a transformation in their meaning of caring and embodiment of caring. In addition to nursing students’ lived experiences of learning caring, curriculum documents were analyzed for the presence and absence of caring language. Curriculum documents provided important context to the lived experience of learning caring. Factors that facilitated and/or limited learning caring are offered along with implications for nursing education, education administration, practice, and research.