Problem-based learning in pre-registration mental health nursing: the student experience
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Problem-based learning in pre-registration mental health nursing: the student experience

Helen Atherton Lecturer in nursing, University of Leeds

Helen Atherton discusses the findings of a study exploring an innovative way of preparing trainee mental health nurses

Aim The aim of this study was to explore the use of problem-based learning (PBL) in the education and training of pre-registration mental health nurses.

Method The introduction of a new module exploring mental health needs among people with learning disabilities provided the opportunity to introduce PBL to a group of second-year mental health nurses. A hybrid model of delivery was used in which PBL is combined with traditional lectures. A qualitative approach was used to explore the experience of ten mental health students. The process of framework analysis yielded seven themes.

Results Seven themes were identified that illustrated the students’ experiences, highlighting that PBL is a different way of learning that students need time to adapt to.

Conclusion PBL has advantages in developing the professional skills required for mental health practice and should therefore be considered a legitimate alternative to traditional didactic teaching.

Mental Health Practice. 19, 1, 28-33. doi: 10.7748/mhp.19.1.28.e1005


Peer review

This article has been subject to double-blind review and has been checked using antiplagiarism software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 20 June 2014

Accepted: 05 September 2014

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