Document Type



Doctor of Education


Adult & Higher Education

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

E. Paulette Isaac-Savage, EdD


Wolfgang Althof

Sue McKee

Lloyd Richardson


With the ever-changing healthcare systems, nursing students need to think at a high level by applying their knowledge from theory to the clinical setting by prioritizing, delegating, and problem solving to provide safe, competent, quality nursing care. Using action research, nursing students participated in R.A.V.E. (Reflective Thinking Allows Variety for Excellence) Reviews to see how they used their past experiences, knowledge, and beliefs to arrive at the appropriate answers and/or solutions to exam questions and real life situations. A purposive sample of 65 nursing students in a Child and Family Nursing course from the Spring 2010 and Fall 2010 semesters from a Midwest College of Nursing were used. The data were collected through interviews, journals, observations, and an on-line questionnaire. Using Grounded Theory to analyze the data, three categories emerged: (a) facilitation of the learning process; (b) value; and (c) professional development. Students commented that the reflective thinking intervention helped them study sooner, recognize what they knew and did not know, think at a deeper level, listen and see other individuals’ perspectives, and question information which may be unclear or inappropriate for the situation. With students needing to make connections between theory and clinical practice, conducting R.A.V.E. Reviews may be that bridge between the classroom and hospital setting. The Reviews allowed the students to realize the importance of taking time to think about situations in a relaxed, non-intimidating environment where they were able to hear multiple perspectives through discussions and talking out loud in order to identify rationales and solutions for the situations. Since healthcare is always changing, nurses are required to know what to do in any client situation. Therefore, providing the R.A.V.E. Reviews for the nursing students allowed them to use reflective thinking activities in seeing the whole client situation and making decisions.

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