The narrative can be a patient experience, self reflection or clinical event or situation. It is written in the first person and includes the following: information that allows the reader to put the situation in context, descriptions of the student’s thoughts and feelings during and after the situation, why the situation is important and the impact it had on them as a person and their practice of nursing. They are instructed to change the patient’s name and any other identifying information in order to protect confidentiality. The students then share their narratives in class with their fellow classmates. This is a powerful learning experience which is therapeutic for the listener as well as the storyteller. When these stories are shared aloud, it also creates a unique pedagogical interaction between the teacher and student.
Narratives can be a creative and powerful teaching tool in nursing education. They encourage students to listen, reflect and create therapeutic interventions for their patients. Writing and sharing these stories are a valuable means for communicating a special kind of knowledge that has been ignored in education. Narrative writing creates the bridge between the science and the art of nursing and allows nursing students to take responsibility for how they want to practice nursing.
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