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Student nurses' experiences of remote learning during Covid-19 pandemic: A qualitative evidence synthesis

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-10-20, 07:48 authored by Martina GiltenaneMartina Giltenane, Maura DowlingMaura Dowling


To systematically synthesize undergraduate student nurses' experience of online, blended or distance learning during Covid-19 pandemic.


A qualitative evidence synthesis (QES).

Review Methods

A QES. Themes were organized using the ‘best fit’ framework approach. Methodological limitations and confidence in the review findings were informed by GRADE-CERQual (Confidence in the Evidence from Reviews of Qualitative research).

Data Sources

Qualitative literature from five databases including CINAHL, PubMed, Medline, Education Full Text (H.W. Wilson) and ERIC were searched from March 2020 to November 2021.


Nine qualitative and two mixed method studies were included in this ‘best fit’ framework using Chickering and Gamson's Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education. Importance of the social presence of the teacher through effective communication and interpersonal relationships is highlighted. Clinical placement and in-person practical skills training are needed for effective nursing education.


This review highlighted that online content can be developed into efficient and high-quality learner-centred education within blended undergraduate nursing programmes incorporating essential face-to-face and practical components. Various supporting measures are required for both students and faculty. We suggest an adaptation of a ‘Blending with Purpose: The Multimodal Model’ with key considerations for undergraduate nursing programmes where pedagogical objectives and activities drive the approaches to achieve intended learning outcomes and student satisfaction.

Implications for the Profession

Well-designed online programmes using digital tools that support interaction and teamwork are required for undergraduate nursing education.


Blended learning approaches offer more flexibility than online learning alone which leads to improved student engagement.

Clinical placement and in-person practical skills training are needed for effective nursing education.

Reporting Method

‘Enhancing transparency in reporting the synthesis of qualitative research’ (ENTREQ) for QES.

No Patient or Public Contribution



Journal of Advanced Nursing, 2023


Wiley and Sons Ltd

Other Funding information

Open access funding provided by IReL

Sustainable development goals

  • (4) Quality Education

Department or School

  • Nursing and Midwifery

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