Title of ArticleA critical reflection on the transformation from bachelor of nursing student to researcher
Type of ArticleCritical Reflection
Author/sMeg Kelly, Kelly Marriott-Statham and Maria Mackay
ReferenceVolume 13, Issue 1, Article 9
Date of PublicationMay 2023
Keywordsco-researchers, critical reflection, cultural safety, student, transformational learning

This is a corrected version: see correction notice

Background: The school of nursing at the University of Wollongong developed an innovative approach entitled the ‘Students as Researchers Internship’ to provide an opportunity for students who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders to experience research as co-researchers. This programme was developed in response to a need to increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons who complete research degrees and progress to academic careers in nursing. The initial programme included two students who identified as Aboriginal women in their final year as bachelor of nursing students, with both employed as research assistants.

Aim: This article aims to share the students’ perspective of their learnings from participating in the Students as Researchers Internship programme through a critical reflection using the Mezirow model of reflection.

Conclusion: The opportunity to be a research assistant and co-researcher during the final year of the bachelor of nursing degree offered the students a platform to gain skills, and an understanding of the research process and the application of research in practice. It also provided the experience of being supported in their academic studies.

Implications for practice:

  • Mezirow’s model of reflection provides an effective framework for students to unearth their assumptions and learnings from experience
  • Developing skills and experience in research can transform undergraduate students’ understanding of the application of research in their practice
  • Participation in writing ethics applications and research publications offers students insight into the skills of referencing, academic writing and critical thinking
  • The experience as co-researchers enabled students who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders to consider future career opportunities in research

This article by Meg Kelly, Kelly Marriott-Statham and Maria Mackay is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 3.0 License.

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