Using Blogging to Facilitate the Professional Development of Novice Nursing Students

Monday, 7 July 2008: 1:35 PM
Annemarie H. W. Cheung, MN, BN, RN , Department of Nursing Studies, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Ricky W. K. Yuen, MN, MSocSc, (Counseling), BN, RN , Department of Nursing Studies, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Agnes F. Y. Tiwari, PhD, RN , Department of Nursing Studies, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Samuel K. W. Chu, PhD, MLS, BBA , Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

Learning Objective 1: understand more about the merits in using blogging in nursing education.

Learning Objective 2: have a more concrete idea on the professional development of novice nursing students.

Clinical practicum is one of the most stressful events in the educational programme of nursing students. This qualitative study explores specifically the professional development of 40 novice nursing students before and after their first experience of clinical practicum by means of focused group interviews. Blogging, a product in information technology, was also used to find out how the students developed professionally during their first two weeks in supervised clinical practice. Students' blogs and transcriptions of their interviews were analyzed, and several themes emerged. It was evident from the students' blogs that they experienced stressful interpersonal relationships and had doubts about their own ability to perform in the clinical settings. Heavy workload added to their feelings of helplessness. They envisaged that learning in clinical practice would be by trial and error and would only consider such an approach as undesirable if they repeatedly make the same mistake. The use of blogging during clinical practicum was welcome by these students as it provided a channel for them to ventilate emotions, share information, stimulate constructive discussions and promote self-reflections as they practised in different clinical sites. Furthermore, they also developed new insights through revisiting perspectives of prior beliefs and old ways of thinking, thereby transforming their values and attitudes. Such changes have the potential of enhancing self-understanding and promoting professional socialization. The results of this study have revealed that the first experience of clinical practice is an important time for the professional development of nursing students and blogging holds promise in helping students to be socialized into the nursing profession.