This paper covers my experience mentoring first-year nursing students and assisting them in improving their skills. It involves a literature review of the topic, and a summary of what was learned from the experience and that of experts in the field.
Peer teaching among nursing students in the clinical area: effects on student learning (Iwasiw)
It appears to be intuitively obvious that nursing students will benefit from peer teaching and experiences working with their peers. This is one of the first studies which was devoted to working in a clinical setting and objectively measuring the outcome. Although limited to surgical units, the data were convincing that those nursing students who worked with peers in a surgical setting increased both their motor skills and their cognitive improvement. Although the numbers were too low to draw complete statistical significance (n=50), the tendency to benefit from peer learning was demonstrated.
Learning partnership-the experience of peer tutoring among nursing students : A qualitative study (Yuen Loke)
This article discusses an experience more closely related to that of my peer work with first-year students. While this was a qualitative rather than a quantitative study, the researcher found, as with the above quantitative results, that cognitive skills were improved. In addition, self-confidence and social support were improved. Since the peer students understood the problems of their students better than teachers, the bonds formed helped to improve the relevance of the teaching to their experience. As with the above study, there were too few subjects to draw statistically-valid conclusions (n=24, of which first year n= 14, second-year n=10), but the tendencies were clear. While the improvements in learning were clear to most participants, there were some students who gave negative feedback about mismatching styles between the tutors and tutees. This finding supports the... [continues]
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