Research Output

The value of role modelling: Perceptions of undergraduate and diploma nursing (adult) students.

  Using a grounded theory methodology, this paper demonstrates the value of role modelling in teaching and learning within the clinical area. Views of undergraduate (n=20) and diploma (n=22) nursing (adult) students were sought using individual and focus group interviews. Although the importance of role modelling is acknowledged within the literature, there appears to be little written about the value of providing role modelling within the clinical learning environment to facilitate learning for student nurses. Both groups of students stated the importance of having access to a good role model in order that they could observe and practice skills and/or behaviour. ‘Good’ role models were seen to have a tremendous influence on the clinical learning environment and on the development of students’ competence and confidence. Recommendations were made to include discussions on the value of role modelling on enhancing the clinical learning environment within mentor preparation courses. These discussions should emphasise the value of observational learning, the necessity of providing constructive feedback and the need for role models to enable the student to convert observed behaviour/skills into their own behaviour and skills set.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    01 August 2005

  • Publication Status:


  • Publisher

    Churchill Livingstone

  • DOI:


  • ISSN:


  • Library of Congress:

    RT Nursing

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    610.7 Medical education, research & nursing

  • Projects:

    From PhD thesis entitled: Donaldson, J.H., 2003. A qualitative study investigating the similarities and differences of diploma and undergraduate nursing (adult) students. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, University of Glasgow, Glasgow.


Donaldson, J. H. & Carter, D. E. (2005). The value of role modelling: Perceptions of undergraduate and diploma nursing (adult) students. Nurse Education in Practice. 5, 353-359. doi:10.1016/j.nepr.2005.05.006. ISSN 1471-5953


role modeling; mentor; mentorship; nurse education

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