Nurse students have the ‘right’ values but how do they retain them? Exploring the impact of a curriculum based on a humanising philosophy on student values from pre-registration programme commencement through to completion.

Authors: Scammell, J., Tait, D. and White, S.

Start date: 3 June 2018

Overview: Utilising findings from a longitudinal study of nurse student values, this workshop aims to explore the impact of a curriculum based on a humanising philosophy. We begin with the study overview (Scammell et al. 2017), including an outline of the curriculum philosophy, the Humanising Values Framework (Galvin and Todres, 2013). To illustrate the curriculum in action, three exemplars are demonstrated. The workshop concludes with an audience-led plenary session, exploring barriers/enablers to retaining person-centred values.

Background: Person-centred values are embedded within international codes of practice (ICN 2012). The manifestation of these values has been scrutinised recently with practitioners, educators and managers challenged to re-establish the person at the centre of care. Studies suggest that caring values can become tempered with “professional realism” as students merge theory with practice; subsequently caring behaviour can decline by programme end.

Method: Commencing in 2013, a longitudinal, mixed method, co-operative inquiry approach over three years was used with undergraduate nursing students (n=161) from one English university. Ethical approval was obtained. Students expressed their values at the outset and half way through the programme. Through cooperative inquiry groups, they analysed what challenged and supported their values as they progressed, and prior to qualification. Data were analysed using inductive qualitative content analysis.

Findings: These fell into three distinct phases loosely aligned to each year of the programme: “students’ ideals and aspirations”, followed by a period of “reality and uncertainty” to a position of “living and flourishing with reality and uncertainty”.

Conclusion: Students readily drew upon their experience of living to identify person-centred values about nursing and being valued as individuals. They felt the programme had helped them to build knowledge and resilience and were able to draw upon key concepts from the humanising approach to challenge poor practice and argue for the fundamental need to respect humanity.

References Galvin, K., Todres, L. (2013) Caring and Wellbeing. A Lifeworld Approach. London: Routledge.

International Council of Nurses (ICN) (2012). The ICN Code of Ethics for Nurses (Revised 2012). Available from: (Accessed 1 Sept 2017). Scammell, J., Tait, D., White, S., Tait, M. (2017). Challenging nurse student selection policy: Using a lifeworld approach to explore the link between care experience and student values. Nursing Open, DOI: 10.1002/nop2.88

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