This two part article is an account of research that examined the choices that student nurses made, from an intrapersonal perspective, when they experienced difficulty putting theory into practice. The research employed four major data collection tools, these being student diaries, interview schedules, the Personal Orientation Inventory. All of these tools were designed to either allow the student to explore their subjective experience of the theory practice gap in more depth, or to make a statement regarding the individuals level of intrapersonal functioning.Phase one of the research found that those students who had difficulty expressing their anger, fear or sadness had greater difficulty putting theory into practice. This finding was substantiated as the students who had functional scores in relation to feeling reactivity, spontaneity, acceptance of aggression and self‐regard, appeared more able to put theory into practice.In phase two of the research, nine students involved themselves in a peer support group, the purpose of which was to allow the students to explore their intrapersonal choices and work through their dissonant clinical experiences. All of them reported that this forum was a useful tool for the development of the individual nurse and their ability to underpin their everyday practice with theory.The second part of the article to be published in issue 3,3 will focus upon the integrated model for nurse education from a behaviour change perspective and the implications this has for educationalists.
The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 1, 2008
Keywords: Use of self; Intrapersonal development; Attitudes and values in education; Theory practice gap