Chinese Nursing Students' Perceptions of Case Study Use as a Teaching and Learning Strategy

Monday, 9 November 2015

Shirleatha T. Lee, PhD, MSN, BSN, RN, CNE
Lin Zhan, PhD, MSN, BSN, RN, FAAN
Loewenberg School of Nursing, The University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, USA

Background: Chinese nursing education is in a process of transformation aimed to prepare professional nurses to meet the demands of health care. Lecture often serves as the primary method of teaching in Chinese nursing schools. However, lecture is passive and prevents critical thinking. Case studies when incorporated with lecture can help students to become active learners and relate topics to real world situations. The purpose of this study was to examine Chinese nursing students’ perception of the use of case studies in nursing education. Methods: Data analysis consisted of associate (n = 21) and baccalaureate (n = 83) undergraduate nursing students in China (N = 104). Students ranged in age from 19- 25 years and 97% were female. Students were presented with case study scenarios in class and were required to work with group members to solve and answer questions, present group findings, and engage in open dialogue. Following the completion of the course students were administered a 5-point likert survey (Strongly Agree=5; Agree=4; Neither Agree nor Disagree=3; Disagree=2; Strongly Disagree=1) that assessed the students’ perceived satisfaction with the use of case studies in the classroom setting. The survey was anonymous and no identifying information was collected. Descriptive statistics were calculated using SPSS v. 17.0. Results: The results indicated students displayed high satisfaction with the use of case studies. Students indicated working with their classmates on clinical case studies helped their understanding (4.66 ± 0.51); will help them to be successful on the national nursing examination (3.98 ± 0.76); and will help them to be better nurses (4.56 ± 0.58). Students also indicated they could apply what they learned (3.85 ± 0.62) and they gained new knowledge to use in nursing (4.44 ± 0.58). Conclusion: Chinese nursing students had positive perceptions and were highly satisfied with the use of case studies as a teaching and learning strategy. Globally, as nurses are faced with more complex issues, challenging and acutely ill patients, advancing technology and ethical dilemmas it is important that students are equipped and presented with teaching and learning strategies that enhance learning and improve patient outcomes.