American Journal of Nursing Research. 2019, 7(3), 310-315
DOI: 10.12691/AJNR-7-3-11
Original Research

Exploring the Experiences of Nursing Students during Debriefing: A Qualitative Study

Wafaa Elarousy1, 2, , Jennifer de Beer1 and Hend Alnajjar1

1College of Nursing, Jeddah, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, KSA

2Pediatric Department, Faculty of Nursing, Alexandria University, Egypt

Pub. Date: March 23, 2019

Cite this paper

Wafaa Elarousy, Jennifer de Beer and Hend Alnajjar. Exploring the Experiences of Nursing Students during Debriefing: A Qualitative Study. American Journal of Nursing Research. 2019; 7(3):310-315. doi: 10.12691/AJNR-7-3-11


Background: Debriefing is a process involving the active participation of learners, guided by a facilitator or instructor whose primary goal is to identify and close gaps in knowledge and skills. It promotes understanding and supports transfer of knowledge, skills and attitudes with the focus on safe and high quality patient care. Hence, the aim of the study was to explore the experiences of nursing students during debriefing. Methodology: The study was conducted at the College of Nursing – Jeddah, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences. A qualitative research design was used which included convenient sampling of nursing students who were enrolled in clinical courses. Four focus groups were conducted until saturation was reached. Focus groups were recorded, transcribed verbatim and data analysis followed a content analysis approach. Results: Three main themes emerged: facilitators, barriers and the way forward. The participants within this study highlighted that learning from shared experiences of colleagues was a factor that promoted a positive attitude towards debriefing. Long clinical days was the most prominent barrier to debriefing with debriefing sessions focusing on the same content that was discussed in the clinical area was identified as the next barrier. Hence nothing new was added in order to promote learning during debriefing. Conclusion: This study affirmed many of the common, frequently cited advantages and disadvantages of the debriefing process. There is certainly an opportunity for the process to be improved by using evidence-based methods that will achieve the same or better results.


debriefing, qualitative study, student nurses


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