RESEARCH ARTICLE

Investigating Learning Challenges from the Perspective of Nursing Students and Educators at a University in Casablanca, Morocco

The Open Nursing Journal 29 June 2020 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874434602014010109

Abstract

Background:

Whether in an academic or clinical setting, many students often consider nursing studies to be difficult. Identifying learning challenges could help to improve the quality of the training and students’ skills.

Objective:

This study aimed to identify the main learning challenges of nursing students.

Methods:

The study utilised a two-phase mixed methods design. First, a focus group discussion with nine teachers and tutors was conducted to explore the learning challenges observed by staff. Then, based on the results, a questionnaire was developed for 54 students to explore and estimate the frequency of learning challenges perceived by them.

Results:

The data analysis confirmed 15 major learning challenges, including cognitive challenges, consisting of theoretical gaps, and challenges related to clinical reasoning, and non-cognitive procedural and behavioural challenges. Challenges related to clinical reasoning, such as the difficulty in developing care plans (100%) and choosing care actions (90.2%), remain the most frequent regardless of the level of study.

Conclusion:

Supervisors should consider students’ learning challenges when designing, developing and implementing their educational interventions.

Keywords: Learning challenges, Clinical reasoning, Theoretical gaps, Procedural challenge, Behavioural challenges, Nursing students, Nursing education.
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