Using Facebook to enhance commencing student confidence in clinical skill development: A phenomenological hermeneutic study

Bernadette Maria Watson, Marie Cooke, Rachel Walker

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: The purpose of this study was to explore commencing nursing students' experience of Facebook as an adjunct to on-campus course delivery to determine its impact as a learning strategy for improving confidence in clinical skill development. Background: Approaches supporting nursing students in the development of clinical skills have relied on 'real-life' clinical placements and simulated on-campus clinical laboratories. However students continue to report a lack of confidence in their clinical skills for practice. Social networking sites including Facebook are being used as a learning strategy to stimulate active and collaborative learning approaches. Design: A hermeneutic phenomenological approach was used to provide an understanding of the experience of confidence in clinical skills development for nursing students. Methods: Data were collected through in-depth interviews with commencing students about their experience as learners using Facebook and their perceptions of the impact on their clinical skill development. Settings and Participants: Ten first-year student nurses at one university in south-east Queensland, Australia. Findings: Four themes emerged from the data including: 'We're all in this together'; 'I can do this'; 'This is about my future goals and success'; and, 'Real time is not fast enough!'. These themes provide new meaningful insights demonstrating students' sense of confidence in clinical skills was increased through engagement with a dedicated Facebook page. Conclusions: The findings of this study have relevance to academics in the design of learning strategies for clinical courses to further support student confidence and engagement through peer collaboration and active learning processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-69
Number of pages6
JournalNurse Education Today
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical skills development
  • Facebook
  • Hermeneutic phenomenology
  • Student nurses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Education


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