Uncovering nursing students' views of their relationship with educators in a university context: A descriptive qualitative study

Chung Yee Zenobia Chan, Wai Tong Chien, Saras Henderson

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


� 2016 Elsevier Ltd Introduction Power dynamics is a key element in the educator-student relationship, and can be influential to the learning outcomes of students. Background Power relations are inherent in the interaction between educators and students. The educator-student relationship is still an under-explored area of power dynamics. Aim The aim of the study was to investigate nursing students' perceptions of the power dynamics in the educator-student relationship in a university learning context in order to offer educators some understanding of how such a relationship was perceived by students. Design A descriptive qualitative study using focus group inquiry. Methods Through convenience sampling, a total of 56 students were recruited and eight focus group interviews were conducted. Thematic analysis was adopted to capture the meanings extracted from the student narratives. Results Four core themes of the educator-student relationship were identified. Referring to these themes, some implications were drawn, such as the significance of the educator-student relationship; an educator's power matters; and polarized views among the students on whether or not an educator should be a friend. Conclusions The power dynamics varied depending on an educator's personality, communication skills, ability to effectively monitor large classes, and teaching style. More efforts are needed to investigate the preferred conceptions and types of educator-student relationships in order to evaluate the impact that these have on learning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-114
Number of pages5
JournalNurse Education Today
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017


  • Focus group interviews
  • Nurse education
  • Power
  • Relationship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Education


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