Title of ArticleCurriculum design for person-centredness: mindfulness training within a bachelor course in nursing
Type of ArticleSpecial Issue Paper
Author/sTheo Niessen and Gaby Jacobs
ReferenceVolume 5, Special Issue on Person-centredness, Article 2
Date of PublicationSeptember 2015
KeywordsMindfulness, mixed-methods research, students, person-centred nursing, professional learning

Background: In the academic year 2013/14 the Faculty of Nursing of Fontys University of Applied Sciences agreed on a new first-year course in person-centred nursing, based on the framework of person-centred nursing by McCormack and McCance (2006; 2010). This programme’s components included a group project and presentation, problem-based learning sessions, interactive skills training and mindfulness training. The 400 first-year students received four weeks of intensive training in mindfulness with eight biweekly meetings lasting one-and-a-half hours each.

Aims and objectives: This article provides an evaluation of this intensive four-week pilot training for the first cohort of 201 students, with the aim of assessing whether the use of mindfulness is suitable to cultivate relevant nursing ‘prerequisites’ for person-centred nursing.

Conclusions: A strength of the present study was that it was a ‘real life study’ within the curriculum of first-year nursing students. The screening of the self-reflection reports revealed that the mindfulness training had positive effects on self-reflection, self-insight and self-care. The interviews with the mindfulness trainers and the focus group raised a number of issues and ideas for future development and implementation of the mindfulness training.

Implications for practice: The value of this study lies in its contribution to linking the development of the person-centred attributes of the nurse and the skill of mindfulness. Moreover, issues are identified relating to the qualifications of those providing mindfulness training, whether mindfulness is best introduced in the first year or later years, and group pressure among students.

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