Nursing students' understanding and enactment of resilience: a grounded theory study
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AIM: The aim of this study was to explore nursing students' understanding and enactment of resilience. BACKGROUND: Stress is considered to be a major factor affecting the health, well-being and academic performance of nursing students. Resilience has been extensively researched as a process that allows individuals to successfully adapt to adversity and develop positive outcomes as a result. However, relatively little is known about the resilience of nursing students. DESIGN: A constructivist, grounded theory qualitative design was used for this study. METHOD: In-depth individual interviews were conducted with 38 nursing students enrolled in a four-year, integrated baccalaureate nursing degree programme at a university in Ontario, Canada. Face-to-face interviews were conducted from January to April 2012 using a semi-structured interview guide. FINDINGS: The basic social process of 'pushing through' emerged as nursing students' understanding and enactment of resilience. Participants employed this process to withstand challenges in their academic lives. This process was comprised of three main phases: 'stepping into', 'staying the course' and 'acknowledging'. 'Pushing through' also included a transient 'disengaging' process where students were temporarily unable to push through their adversities. The process of 'pushing through' was based on a progressive trajectory, which implied that nursing students enacted the process to make progress in their academic lives and to attain goals. CONCLUSION: Study findings provide important evidence for understanding the phenomenon of resilience as a dynamic, contextual process that can be learnt and developed, rather than a static trait or personality characteristic.
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