Background: Concept-based learning is used increasingly in nursing education to support the organization, transfer, and retention of knowledge. Concept-based learning activities (CBLAs) have been used in clinical education to explore key aspects of the patient situation and principles of nursing care, without responsibility for total patient care. The nature of best practices in teaching and the resultant learning are not well understood. Method: The purpose of this multiple-case study research was to explore and describe concept-based learning in the context of clinical education in inpatient settings. Four clinical groups (each a case) were observed while they used CBLAs in the clinical setting. Results: Major findings include that concept-based learning fosters deep learning, connection of theory with practice, and clinical judgment. Strategies used to support learning, major teaching-learning foci, and preconditions for concept-based teaching and learning will be described. Conclusion: Concept-based learning is promising to support integration of theory with practice and clinical judgment through application experiences with patients.
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