Storytelling: One arts-based learning strategy to reflect on clinical placement. An integrative review

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Storytelling is one method of arts-based learning. The pedagogy of arts-based learning integrates the arts into another topic to enhance learning. Nursing students’ experiences of clinical placement are often complex. Students may benefit not only from cognitive thinking, but also creative reflection. This integrative literature review explores storytelling as an arts-based approach to learning during clinical placements. A search of electronic databases focused on articles published in English during 2010–2020. The search identified thirteen international papers. The diversity of clinical environments included community mental health, overseas placement, community aged care, and acute care hospitals. The synthesis revealed four main themes: arts-based learning in nurse education, student-patient communication, student-Registered Nurse communication, and student-educator communication. Engaging in stories as a means of reflection improved students’ self-knowledge, identified their preconceptions and stereotyping of patients and so improving their patient interactions. Positive relationships between students and patients were not only necessary for caring practice, but also intrinsic to learning. Positive relationships between Registered Nurses and students reduced anxiety and encouraged students to focus on quality patient care. Storytelling provided a creative approach to reflect on practice. Reflection using the affective domain assisted students to reflect more broadly about their placement experience.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103005
Number of pages9
JournalNurse Education in Practice
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • Clinical placement
  • Education
  • Narrative arts
  • Nurse
  • Nursing student
  • Storytelling


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