Effectiveness of problem-based learning among student nurses: A sytematic review (2005-2012)

  • ZZ Nkosi
  • G Thupayagale-Tshweneagae
Keywords: Problem -based learning, nursing education, student nurses, systematic review.


Problem- based learning has been hailed as the most influential method of teaching in other health related disciplines such as medicine. In nursing, problem- based learning has been used very sparingly especially in developing countries such as South Africa. The purpose of this review is to analyze available literature from 2005 to 2012 on the effectiveness of problem based learning among the nursing students. Twenty articles that discussed problem based learning among nurses and those that discussed nursing with other allied health were included as meeting the criteria for review. The review was conducted using electronic bases of Africa wide, Ebsco Host, PubMed, Science Direct and Google Scholar. The study characteristics were extracted using EPOC Data Collection Checklist, which include authors, setting, study design, sample, results and conclusion. Given the heterogeneity of the studies with regards to the six elements of an electronic data based search strategy description listed in the Cochrane handbook. The six elements were analysed for effectiveness. No formal meta-analysis was done. The results of the reviewed articles showed a disparity on the reported effectiveness of problem based learning between developing countries such as Thailand and South America where its effectiveness is doubtful. In developed countries such as the United States of America and Australia, problem based learning is found to be an effective teaching strategy by student nurses. The study concluded that problem based learning should be used cautiously and that more studies on its effectiveness need to be carried out.

Keywords: Problem -based learning, nursing education, student nurses, systematic review.


Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 2411-6939