As the healthcare sphere evolves, nurses’ role continues developing and expanding. To keep up with this rapid-paced market, nursing students must have access to progressive and transformational learning experiences.

Although traditional classroom learning has been favored for many years, technological innovations have enabled students to pursue their nursing coursework online. Nevertheless, delivering a quality clinical atmosphere online remains an issue.

Fortunately, transformational learning addresses this difficulty, providing a format that can improve the efficiency of online courses and prepare nursing students for success.

What is transformative learning?

Transformative learning is a supposition formed by educational psychologist Jack Mezirow. According to Mezirow, transformative learning involves a technique of contemplation, consciousness, and critical thinking that fundamentally changes an individual’s theories, standards, and points of view.

In the context of nursing training, transformative learning concentrates on creating medical attendants who are vital thinkers, reflective experts, and socially capable healthcare suppliers. While change learning can be connected to various educational settings, it is particularly pertinent to online nursing training.

Rockhurst University offers online nursing programs in Missouri that employ transformative learning techniques to help students build the aptitudes they need to become exceptional medical caregivers.

The major phases of transformative learning

In the below sections, we outline the primary phases of transformative learning.

Disorienting dilemma

This first stage is marked by bewilderment, doubt, and anxiety as individuals confront a novel situation or outlook that tests their trust and understanding.

A perplexing difficulty, such as a personal ordeal, parting with a loved one, or a critical life change, can shape the learning process. It is a stimulant of adjustment that compels individuals to grapple with their misconceptions, slants, and suppositions and to recognize the restrictions of their past methods of thinking and performing.


This exploration delves into individual values, convictions, suppositions, and points of view. It requires people to contemplate their previous encounters, sensations, and disposition and to scrutinize methodically how these have shaped their worldviews.

Self-examination is often awkward and arduous, as it incorporates probing profoundly held convictions and defying our feeling of self. This phase may encompass facing preconceptions, partialities, and cliches and recognizing areas of enhancement and progress.

Critical assessment

Once students have indulged in mindful analysis and scrutinized their encounters from different angles, they progress to the decisive examination period. During this phase, they actively judge their convictions and suppositions, examining them against proof and additional data.

This stage requires an extreme level of rational thought, as students must confront their prejudices and preconceptions to achieve a more impartial comprehension of the milieu encompassing them. As they investigate the social and cultural positions that have fashioned their thinking, they may recognize how these forces have fashioned the world.

Strategies for using transformative learning in online nursing education

Below, we outline several tactics for implementing the transformative learning model in virtual nursing instruction to give pupils the resources and understanding they must acquire to be successful.

Active and engaging learning experience

In online nursing education, learners must fully engage in learning to cultivate the critical thinking and problem-solving capabilities essential for clinical practice.

Educators can use various techniques such as forums, group tasks, and dynamic lectures. Instructors can create practical scenarios to aid learners in employing their knowledge and analytical skills.

For example, participants can cooperate in teams to formulate care plans for patients with complicated health conditions. These exercises simulate actual clinical encounters and assist students in readying themselves for their forthcoming nursing roles.

Collaborative learning opportunities

Collaborative education encourages students to learn from their classmates and to spread their knowledge and abilities. It boosts analytical thinking, generates a feeling of fellowship, and upgrades communication capabilities.

An efficient way to foster collaborative education in digital nursing courses is through discussion boards. Pupils can participate in threaded conversations on assorted nursing matters, broadcast their views and concepts, and gain from one another’s standpoints.

This strategy helps to promote critical thinking, boosts involvement, and constructs a community sentiment among learners.

Use of case studies and simulations

In nursing education, examples and simulations are compelling approaches to aid instruction that motivate pupils to apply information to real-world circumstances actively.

These techniques are also frequently used in online educational programs, enabling students to sharpen their critical thinking skills while receiving teacher direction and input.

Case studies and simulations ordinarily exhibit real-world patient circumstances where students are asked to analyze, prepare and execute inputs.

Pupils acquire a secure space to practice aptitudes, acquire assurance and build decision-making skills without risking patients. By collaborating with a replicated patient in a regulated situation, students can confront complex circumstances they may not experience in a customary medical setting.

Reflection and self-assessment

Online nursing programs should incorporate exercises that spur students to think about their learning journeys and appraise their development. An effective way to promote contemplation is to encourage blogging or dialogue entries.

Students can contemplate their experiences throughout the course. Faculty members can offer remarks and counsel on these musings to better aid studying.

Self-analysis activities can also be mixed into the study to permit students to evaluate their expertise and aptitudes. For example, scholars can execute practice tests or examinations to pinpoint zones of capacity and misfortune.

Final thoughts

Bringing transformative learning tactics into virtual nursing instruction can influence student participation and success. Educators are responsible for designing substantial learning episodes that prepare students for the obstacles they will confront as medical professionals.

Integrating these tactics can enhance the quality of online nursing education and improve patient outcomes. Therefore, it is paramount to accept the transformative strength of education and collaborate to engender a better future for all.