Effects of a work-based critical reflection program for novice nurses

Yeon Hee Kim, Ja Min, Soon Hee Kim, Sujin Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background: Critical reflection is effective in improving students' communication abilities and confidence. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a work-based critical reflection program to enhance novice nurses' clinical critical-thinking abilities, communication competency, and job performance. Methods: The present study used a quasi-experimental design. From October 2014 to August 2015, we collected data from 44 novice nurses working in an advanced general hospital in S city in Korea. Nurses in the experimental group participated in a critical reflection program for six months. Outcome variables were clinical critical-thinking skills, communication abilities, and job performance. A non-parametric Mann-Whitney U-test and a Wilcoxon rank sum test were selected to evaluate differences in mean ranks and to assess the null hypothesis that the medians were equal across the groups. Results: The results showed that the clinical critical-thinking skills of those in the experimental group improved significantly (p = 0.003). The differences in mean ranks of communication ability between two groups was significantly statistically different (p = 0.028). Job performance improved significantly in both the experimental group and the control group, so there was no statistical difference (p = 0.294). Conclusions: We therefore suggest that a critical reflection program be considered an essential tool for improving critical thinking and communication abilities among novice nurses who need to adapt to the clinical environment as quickly as possible. Further, we suggest conducting research into critical reflection programs among larger and more diverse samples.

Original languageEnglish
Article number30
JournalBMC Medical Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 27 Feb 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Ewha Womans University Research Grant of 2016. The funding body did not influence the design of this study, data collection, analysis, and interpretation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Author(s).


  • Communication
  • Critical thinking
  • Performance
  • Reflection


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