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Reflections about experiences of compassionate care from award winning undergraduate nurses – What, so what … now what?

Smith, Stephen; James, Asha; Brogan, Allison; Adamson, Elizabeth; Gentleman, Mandy


Asha James

Allison Brogan


From 2007 until 2012 Edinburgh Napier University’s School of Nursing Midwifery and Social Care in conjunction with NHS Lothian, collaborated on a programme of action research entitled, the Leadership in Compassionate Care Programme. One strand of this research focused on learning and teaching about compassionate care within the undergraduate curriculum. This debate article focuses on the care issues raised by two award winning nursing students who reflected on the development of their compassionate caring skills during their three year Bachelor of Nursing programme.
The reflective accounts debate the following issues related to compassionate care; Personal drivers supporting the provision of compassionate care, Challenging and influencing care practices, Providing relationship centred care and, Living with what can’t be achieved. Throughout the debate a model of compassionate care developed from the Leadership in Compassionate Care Programme is used to reflect on key practice issues and provide a framework for practice development.
The care issues presented in this paper identify a need to support students in healthcare to; Develop strategies in questioning care practices which do not meet expectations of compassionate care; undertake focussed reflective activities where each student can explore personal drivers, values and perspectives of compassion; actively connect learning in practice with theory in university, enable development in compassionate caring and strategies that support self-compassion; facilitate an understanding and development of emotional intelligence supporting development of resilience.


Smith, S., James, A., Brogan, A., Adamson, E., & Gentleman, M. (2016). Reflections about experiences of compassionate care from award winning undergraduate nurses – What, so what … now what?. Journal of Compassionate Health Care, 3(6),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 1, 2016
Online Publication Date Jul 11, 2016
Publication Date 2016-12
Deposit Date Jul 18, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jul 21, 2016
Journal Journal of Compassionate Health Care
Electronic ISSN 2053-2393
Publisher BMC
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 3
Issue 6
Keywords Reflection Care Compassion Nursing Relationships Person-centred Action research Undergraduate curriculum Healthcare students
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This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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