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International Journal of Nursing Education
Year : 2011, Volume : 3, Issue : 1
First page : ( 66) Last page : ( 70)
Print ISSN : 0974-9349. Online ISSN : 0974-9357.

Reflective thinking – a guide to paradigm shifting in RN –BSN nursing students

Severtsen Billie Marie, Associate Professor

Washington State University, College of Nursing, Spokane, WA (USA)

Corresponding Author: Billie Marie Severtsen PhD, RN: Associate Professor – Washington State university College of Nursing, PO Box 1495, Spokane, WA 99210-1495 USA, 509-324-7286 (severt@wsu.edu).


Engaging RN to BSN students in a paradigm shift by allowing them to retain pride in their basic nurse education while equipping them to reflect upon their practice as they collaborate with colleagues, mobilize and manage groups of co-workers, and strategize how to meet best practice goals is an overall aim of the RN to BSN program at Washington State University College of Nursing. Ethical comportment, as identified by Benner encompasses nursing practice identity, character, skilled know-how and self knowledge. Ethical comportment becomes the pathway to accomplish the paradigm shift goal. Students are introduced to reflective thinking through the use of case based dilemmas in an ethics course. Reflective thinking, in discussion groups with others, allows group members to understand the situation better instead of simply articulating standard ethical rules. Such thinking allows students to exercise their own clinical judgment and, at the same time, to critique their own practice. This approach has been used successfully in both in-class and online sections of the course. Students report a heightened sense of control as change agents when dealing with complex workplace and/or best practice issues by using reflective thinking in these situations.



Carnegie Nursing Education Study, case based learning, ethical comportment, ethical decision making, evidence based practice, expert clinical judgment, online class discussion, paradigm shift, reflective thinking, RN to BSN nursing programs.


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