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An Exploration of the Empowerment of Nursing Students in a Clinical Context 

Jan Pearson, RGON, BA, M.Ed, DipTT, Head of School, School of Nursing and Health Studies, Whitireia Community Polytechnic 

References:  Pearson, J. (1998). An Exploration of the Empowerment of Nursing Students in a Clinical Context  Nursing Praxis in New Zealand 13(3), 45-55

Abstract 

At Whitireia Community Polytechnic the curriculum philosophy for the Bachelor of Nursing Degree Programme is based on the Treaty of Waitangi which provides a framework to articulate the concepts of Partnership, Governorship, Advocacy and Empowerment.  This paper will describe a research study that aimed to explore the phenomenon of empowerment from the perspective of the student nurse.

Keywords: Empowerment, nursing education

Introduction

Is it possible for students of nursing to be empowered in their learning?  Logic would suggest that in the current New Zealand educational context of diminishing opportunity for quality interaction with tutorial and clinical staff that the answer would be negative.  However the findings of this study suggest that empowerment is possible.  This paper will describe the process by which this conclusion is reached and the conditions in which a group of student nurses considered that they were empowered in the clinical learning environment. Continued...

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