Structured Learning and Self-Reflection: Strategies to Decrease Anxiety in the Psychiatric Mental Health Clinical Nursing Experience

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The purpose of this qualitative study was to test a teaching-learning strategy to help nursing students decrease stress and anxiety that may be brought about by the psychiatric mental health clinical experience.


Undergraduate nursing students are known to experience affective stress prior to their first psychiatric mental health clinical practicum. A stressful learning environment can affect the success of the student's clinical performance.


Thirty nursing students participated in this study. A structured preclinical workshop combined with self-reflection provided insight into students' perceptions of the psychiatric mental health clinical experience.


Overall, students reported that participating in the teaching-learning strategy and self-reflection helped mitigate anxiety.


Combining structured learning with self-reflection is a useful tool for helping nursing students increase self-awareness and ease anxiety that may interfere with learning.

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