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Student Outcomes of Distance Learning in Nursing Education: An Integrative Review

PATTERSON, BARBARA J. PhD, RN; KROUSE, ANNE M. PhD, MBA, RN-BC; ROY, LINDA MSN

CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing: September 2012 - Volume 30 - Issue 9 - p 475–488
doi: 10.1097/NXN.0b013e3182573ad4
Feature Article

Distance learning offers a distinctive environment to educate nursing students. While there is a significant body of evidence in the literature related to course, program, and faculty outcomes of distance education, little attention has been given by researchers to evaluate student outcomes, with the exception of student satisfaction. There is a need to evaluate and translate findings related to student outcomes in distance learning into educational practice. Integrative reviews offer one strategy to contribute to evidence-based teaching practice initiatives. A search of available published qualitative and quantitative research on student outcomes of distance learning from 1999 to 2009 was conducted using a number of databases. Astin’s Input-Environment-Output conceptual model provided a framework for this review. Thirty-three studies met the inclusion criteria. Bothcognitive and affective student outcomes emerged. The cognitive outcomes were student learning, learning process, and technology proficiency. Affective outcomes included personal and professional growth, satisfaction, and connectedness. Implications, recommendations, and future research are discussed.

Author Affiliations: School of Nursing, Widener University (Drs Patterson and Krouse), Chester; and School of Nursing, Gywnedd Mercy College (Ms Roy), Gwynedd Valley, PA.

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationship with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

Corresponding author: Anne M. Krouse, PhD, MBA, RN-BC, Widener University, One University Place, Chester, PA 19013 (amkrouse@widener.edu).

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.