Nursing students’ knowledge-based reflections in psychiatric clinical practice

Ingunn Ulvestad


Background: Knowledge-based practice integrates the three aspects research-based, experience-based and user-based knowledge. The aim of the study was to investigate how nursing students reflect these three aspects in their reflection notes when students were in their psychiatric clinical practice.

Methods: During psychiatric practice, 13 nursing students wrote 110 reflection notes. The notes were analyzed using direct content analysis.

Results: The notes were found to contain 1,643 knowledge-based statements. The statements were mostly experience-based (n = 835), followed by research-based (n = 518) and user-based (n = 290). The experience-based statements mirrored students’ encounters with patients and students interpretations to their experiences. Students references in reflection notes were cited from textbooks and with at least use of one research article. The references mirrored use of research-based knowledge. The user-knowledge was inconspicuous in the students- reflection notes in the beginning of their clinical practice but after a week in the clinic their reflection notes contained user-based statements. These mirrored patients statements as students expressed them and students perceptions about patients perspective.

Conclusions: The students reflect within all the three areas, but the use of research-based knowledge should be improved.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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