Becoming a mental health nurse; A three year longitudinal study

Harvey Wells, Dan Bressington

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This longitudinal case series study explores how students’ conceptions of ‘mental health nursing’ changed whilst on a three-year pre-registration Mental Health Nursing programme. The study was carried out in two university nursing schools in the South East of England and this paper reports a detailed analysis of 6 individual case studies. The researchers utilised Novak’s approach to concept mapping to elicit students’ personal knowledge structures, which were explored further using semi-structured individual qualitative interviews. The maps were analysed by looking at their gross morphology to interpret changes over time into types of learning achieved and the associated interview data were analysed using thematic content analysis. Results from analysis of the map structures suggest that whilst four of the selected students learned deeply, one participant learned superficially and one appeared not to learn at all. The associated interview data provides an interesting insight into the students’ reflective narratives on the process of learning. The findings also demonstrate further evidence of the practicability of using Novakian concept maps to self-prompt qualitative research interviews. Implications for the professional education of Mental Health Nurses are discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)100-118
    Number of pages19
    JournalKnowledge Management & E-Learning
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015


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