Deliberate practice (DP) and cognitive load theory have renewed educators’ interest in effective psychomotor skills teaching.
The purpose of this research was to explore how prelicensure nursing students learned psychomotor skills.
Nine senior nursing students participated in this phenomenological study to capture how they experienced learning nursing skills. Colaizzi’s method was used to analyze in-depth interviews of open-ended questions.
Six themes emerged: (a) the umbrella of emotion, (b) practice, (c) learning through technology, (d) fidelity affects learning, (e) teaching matters, and (f) importance of peers. Students found creative ways to learn nursing skills. Research findings contributed to a greater understanding of student experiences in gaining competency in nursing skills.
Participants used aspects of DP, cognitive load theory, and technology to learn skills. These findings provide current information to nurse educators about skills learning and recommendations for effective skills teaching.
Author Affiliations: Assistant Professor (Dr Aldridge) and Professor (Dr Hummel), School of Nursing, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley.
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
Correspondence: Dr Aldridge, Gunter Hall 3080, Campus Box 125, Greeley, CO 80639 (Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org).
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Accepted for publication: May 14, 2018
Published ahead of print: July 19, 2018
Cite this article as: Aldridge MD, Hummel F. Nursing students’ perceptions of skills learning: a phenomenological study. Nurse Educ. 2019;44(3):170-174. doi: 10.1097/NNE.0000000000000569