Journal of Nursing Education

Major Article Open Access

Service-Learning and Clinical Nursing Education: A Delphi Inquiry

Thomas Dombrowsky, PhD, RN; Kevin Gustafson, PhD; Denise Cauble, PhD, RN, CWOCN

  • Journal of Nursing Education. 2019;58(7):381-391
  • https://doi.org/10.3928/01484834-20190614-02
  • Posted June 26, 2019

Abstract

Background:

There is confusion about the similarities and differences between service-learning and clinical nursing education among nurse educators.

Method:

The Delphi method was used to survey nursing authors of articles on service-learning with the purpose of uncovering differences and similarities between the two methods, as well as the unique contributions of service-learning.

Results:

Both service-learning and clinical education further outcomes such as cultural competence, skill development, teamwork, leadership, and application of theory to practice. Service-learning also fosters student creativity and independence and is more focused on client or agency need. Clinical education is primarily focused on the student and is better understood by most nurse educators. Service-learning provides a broader perspective of health care and an increased sense of agency and self-confidence.

Conclusion:

Service-learning is a viable method to address gaps in nursing education, but it is not well understood by many nurse educators. [J Nurs Educ. 2019;58(7):381–391.]

Abstract

Background:

There is confusion about the similarities and differences between service-learning and clinical nursing education among nurse educators.

Method:

The Delphi method was used to survey nursing authors of articles on service-learning with the purpose of uncovering differences and similarities between the two methods, as well as the unique contributions of service-learning.

Results:

Both service-learning and clinical education further outcomes such as cultural competence, skill development, teamwork, leadership, and application of theory to practice. Service-learning also fosters student creativity and independence and is more focused on client or agency need. Clinical education is primarily focused on the student and is better understood by most nurse educators. Service-learning provides a broader perspective of health care and an increased sense of agency and self-confidence.

Conclusion:

Service-learning is a viable method to address gaps in nursing education, but it is not well understood by many nurse educators. [J Nurs Educ. 2019;58(7):381–391.]

When nurse educators hear about service-learning, many of them say, “We're already doing that” (Peterson & Schaffer, 2001). The same thing probably happens with educators from other professions with a st