Faculty Publications

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Adult and Continuing Education | Higher Education | Nursing | Online and Distance Education | Science and Mathematics Education | Service Learning


A qualitative study using transcript analysis was conducted to examine the effectiveness of service learning in enhancing conceptual learning in RN to BSN students. As part of their capstone course in an online program, students engaged in 64 hours of service learning in their local community. The transcripts of asynchronous discussions and journal entries formed the data for analysis. The findings illustrated that the student’s conceptual understanding was enhanced from the service learning experience. Further, the students demonstrated higher-level thinking by linking concepts that could be applied to nursing practice. Service learning reinforced the community-based philosophy of the School of Nursing, and strengthened their abilities in leadership, teamwork, and collaboration with a greater orientation to community, vulnerable populations, and health promotion. Service learning was found to be an effective way to use the skills of the registered nurse for health related service in the community while also meeting their academic and individual learning needs.

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Published Version


This article is the publisher-created version, also considered to be the final version or the version of record. It includes value-added elements provided by the publisher, such as copy editing, layout changes, and branding consistent with the rest of the publication.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Original Citation

Henny Breen & Melissa Robinson
Service learning enhances conceptual learning in a RN to BSN program.
International Journal for Innovation Education and Research, 2016, volume 4, issue 10, pages 197-210



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