The meaning of reflection for understanding caring and becoming a caring nurse

Turid Anita Jaastad*, Venke Ueland, Camilla Koskinen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
70 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Reflection is essential for students to learn and understand caring, their formation as human and caring beings, and their ability to meet patients in a caring way. Consequently, to facilitate nurse students’ development into professionals, learning support is needed where the focus is on understanding caring and becoming caring nurses. Aim and research questions: The exploratory study aim is to gain knowledge of the meaning of reflection in first-term nursing education, and how reflection grounded in caring theory can deepen the students’ understanding of caring and their professional formation of becoming a caring nurse. Method: Data consisted of individual written reflections and were collected from 64 nursing students from Norway, who had completed their instruction in caring theories and participated in four reflection groups where they reflected on caring and becoming a caring nurse. A thematic analysis was used. Findings: The results are based on the three main themes, Reflection provides an understanding of caring by developing a language for caring; Reflection provides an understanding of seeing the person behind the illness; and Reflection contributes to increased self-understanding and awareness of oneself as a caring nurse. Conclusions: Instruction in caring theories and participation in reflection groups, with reflection grounded in caring theory, has a key function in facilitating students’ development of a language for caring in nursing and appropriation of caring theory. The appropriation of caring theory provides a foundation for the nurse students to see themselves within a broader perspective and is important for mutual support in the professional formation of becoming a caring nurse. The expected outcome of such integration is a nursing curriculum that progressively supports the development of nursing students professionally and personally in the formation of becoming a caring nurses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1180-1188
Number of pages9
JournalScandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • becoming
  • caring
  • nurse education
  • reflection
  • student nurse


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