Preceptors’ experience of nursing service-learning projects

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Abstract

Background: Service-learning is a teaching–learning strategy in higher education that provides hands-on experiences in authentic clinical environments. Mutual decision making, shared goals, reciprocity, and tangible benefits to organizations and the people they serve are hallmarks of service-learning. However, the literature is sparse pertaining to preceptor experiences with service-learning projects, the extent of reciprocity, or the projects’ impact on those who received the service. Method: A small phenomenological study was conducted to better understand the experiences of four community-based health professionals who worked with nursing students on service-learning projects. Results: Four themes emerged from face-to-face interviews and written reflections: (a) reciprocity among preceptor, clinical faculty, and student, (b) intentional planning and project clarity, (c) meaningful and authentic experience, and (d) valued and beneficial contributions that addressed a need. Conclusion: Insight gained from the experiences of the four preceptors in this study suggest that through careful planning and reciprocity, service-learning can have a positive impact on community-based organizations and the people they serve.

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Education

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