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Health SA Gesondheid (Online)

On-line version ISSN 2071-9736
Print version ISSN 1025-9848


MALESELA, Jackie M.L.. Case study as a learning opportunity among nursing students in a university. Health SA Gesondheid (Online) [online]. 2009, vol.14, n.1, pp.33-38. ISSN 2071-9736.

The South African Qualification Authority Act (58/1995) requires that the facilitators of the education and training programme for nursing students implement teaching strategies that facilitate critical reflective thinking and lifelong learning. This article seeks to report fourth-year nursing students' experiences regarding the use of a case study approach as a learning opportunity. Much has been documented about the case study as an effective strategy to facilitate learning. A purposive convenience sampling method was used to select 24 nursing students in a South African university. Descriptive naïve sketches were used to collect data. The results were analysed using the content data analysis method (Burns & Grove 2003). Measures to ensure the trustworthiness of the study were taken in accordance with Lincoln and Guba's (1985) principles. Ethical standards for research were observed in order to maintain the integrity of the research. The research findings suggest that the case study as a learning opportunity is effective in facilitating learning, as indicated by the following three categories: increase in critical thinking skills, increased theory and practice integration and increased growth in presentation skills. These categories were conceptualised using the relevant literature in order to describe research-based recommendations regarding the use of a case study approach as a learning opportunity. It is recommended that facilitators involved in the nursing education programme make use of a case study approach as a learning opportunity at all levels of the nursing education programme.

Keywords : case study; learning opportunity; nursing students; South African university teaching; nursing science.

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