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