First year nursing students’ experiences of social media during the transition to university: a focus group study

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Contemporary Nurse, 2016, 52 (5), pp. 625 - 635
Issue Date:
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© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Background: Social media platforms are useful for creating communities, which can then be utilised as a mean for supportive, professional and social learning. Objective: To explore first year nursing student experiences with social media in supporting student transition and engagement into higher education. Design: Qualitative focus groups. Methods: Ten 1st year Bachelor of Nursing students were included in three face-to-face focus groups. Data were analysed using qualitative thematic content analysis. Results: Three key themes emerged that illustrates the experiences of transition and engagement of first year student nurses using social media at university. (1) Facilitating familiarity and collaboration at a safe distance, (2) promoting independent learning by facilitating access to resources, and (3) mitigating hazards of social media. Conclusion: This study has demonstrated the importance of social media in supporting informal peer–peer learning and support, augmenting online and offline relationships, and building professional identity as a nurse.
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