Higher Education Ph.D. Dissertations


The Use Of Storytelling In Nursing Education

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Higher Education Administration

First Advisor

Robert DeBard (Committee Chair)

Second Advisor

Steven Lab

Third Advisor

Carolyn Palmer (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Maureen Wilson (Committee Member)


The purpose of this study was to explore the use of storytelling in the pedagogical process of nursing education wherein the emphasis on meaning construction by the nurse educator allows better lesson integration and facilitates a learner-centered construction of meaning by nursing students. This study explored how nurse educators use true stories to add authenticity to a learning objective. This inquiry employed the theory of phenomenology grounded in postmodern constructivism to consider how storytelling can be most effectively used in nursing education.

The nine nurse educators presented substantial evidence supporting the use of storytelling in classroom and clinical settings. They carefully considered the pedagogical issues of attending to specific student learning objectives, assessing student readiness, and considering student engagement. They evaluated storytelling as a teaching methodology by considering how intentionally they use stories, the appropriateness of various content to this method, and by thinking about class size and classroom layout. These educators strongly considered the learning they try to develop in students by engaging the affective domain to specifically provoke students' feelings, attitudes and emotions.