Defining service learning in nursing education: An integrative review

Neti Juniarti, Lana Zannettino, Jeffrey Fuller, Julian Grant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Despite the wide use of service learning, there is lack of a standardised definition and measurable outcomes. Definitions of service learning found in the literature vary from the very broad to the highly specific. The aim of this review was to generate a functional definition of service learning and identify its components to constructively design and evaluate service-learning approaches in nursing education. An integrative review of scholarly literature was conducted to enable a concept analysis. A comprehensive database search using the search terms through a range of electronic databases, including CINAHL, MEDLINE, ERIC, Scopus, and the Web of Science from the earliest retrievable records of each database to June 23, 2015. The search terms used in this review were nursing students, nursing education, nursing school, community health nursing, community mental health nursing, health education, and service learning or community based education. A total of 42 studies were included in the review. A functional definition of service learning is proposed and four components of service learning were identified in this review, namely a structured form of intra-curricular experiential learning, reflection, reciprocity, and setting specific outcomes and benefits for stakeholders. The proposed conceptual model of service learning could contribute to consistent development, implementation, and evaluation of service learning in nursing education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-212
Number of pages13
JournalJurnal Keperawatan Padjadjaran
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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