The learning career in the community setting: A phenomenological study of a Project 2000 placement

Christine E. Hallett, Anne Williams, Tony Butterworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The findings of one element of an English National Board-funded research study conducted in two phases between 1989 and 1992 are discussed. The study examined one aspect of the new Project 2000 courses introduced in 13 'demonstration districts' in England in the autumn of 1989. During Phase 2 of the study (1991-1992), 14 district nursing sisters and 12 of the students they supervised were interviewed. Data were re-transcribed and interpreted in 1993; the interpretation was based on a phenomenological paradigm which focused on the subjective perceptions of students and supervisors. Participants identified 'learning', as it took place in the community setting, as a sequential process, which is referred to here as the 'learning career'. Using terminology adopted by participants themselves; the authors identify the stages of the 'learning career' as: 'encountering reality'; 'having a go'; 'gaining confidence'; 'thinking through and understanding'; 'developing ideas'; 'being independent'; and 'being assessed'. Supervisors could ease their students' passage through this complex and anxiety-provoking sequence of events in a number of ways. They could demonstrate their practice and provide opportunities for students to gain experience for themselves; they could teach their students about nursing, and enable them to reflect on their own practice; and they could also monitor and assess their students' work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)578-586
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1996
Externally publishedYes


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