Learning is also considered as an important which can create changes in individuals’ knowledge, attitude, values, and feelings. As learning requires a new conceptual framework where one can take decisions in which change and innovation manifests, it is evident that this conceptual realization is only possible through a qualitative research. The present study aims to explore and justify graduate nursing students’ learning experience.The present study is a conventional qualitative content analysis research which was conducted in 27 graduate nursing students studying in Guilan university of Medical sciences in Iran. The study population was selected through purposive sampling, and the data was gathered through semi-structured interviews. Data analysis was performed as per the stages recommended by Graneheim & Lundman. Data strength and their scientific accuracy were evaluated, and ethical aspects of the research were also taken into consideration. Data analysis results were identified as three main themes and 10 subthemes which were named as per their nature:“effective learning,”: learning from a qualified instructor, accessible equipment and resources, awareness of teaching objectives / “Effective learning strategies”: pre-requisite knowledge before attending the class, participating educational workshops, joining group discussions, taking shorthand at home and in the class / “Decline in learning”: the difference in learners’ knowledge background, recurring lesson subjects, inappropriate time and place for learning. Graduate nursing students’ experience confirmed the necessity for provision of a proper educational framework as well as decreasing or removing the factors causing the decline in learning for the purpose of improving the quality of education at universities.


Experiences, Learning, Graduate Nursing Students, Qualitative Research, Content Analysis, Iran

Author Bio(s)

P. Pourghane, PhD. is an Assistant Professor in Department of Nursing in the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery at Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran. Her areas of research include education, cardiac rehabilitation, qualitative studies and content analysis. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: p.pourghane@yahoo.com. Telephone: +98 9112447644; Fax: +98 1342537171

M. Rajab pour Nikfam is a Master of Intensive Care Nursing, Instructor in Department of Nursing, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran. Her areas of research include education, intensive care nursing and qualitative studies. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: rajabpur.maryam@yahoo.com. Telephone: +98 9115011943; Fax: +98 1342537171

F. Ahmadi, PhD. is a Professor in Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran. Her areas of research include qualitative study, content analysis, nursing theory and psychometrics properties. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: ahmadif@modares.ac.ir & ahmadi_fazl@hotmail.com; Tel: +98 21 82883553


Researchers of the present study would like to express her gratitude to all the participants for their contribution and commitment to the study and sharing their experiences. The present study is result of the program ratified by Guilan University of Medical Sciences in Iran under the code IR.GUMS.REC. 325 dated 14th November2015. Researchers of the present study would also like to express their gratitude to the research deputy of Guilan University of Medical Sciences in Iran for their financial support.

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