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The Influence of Journaling on Nursing Students: A Systematic Review


Brown, Lynn Greenleaf
Briscoe, Gina S.
Grabowsky, Adelia


Background: Nursing students often experience anxiety and stress from the expectations to develop clinical reasoning skills, internalize new knowledge, and learn to care for patients. Previous research has proposed reflective thinking as a tool to lessen anxiety and promote metacognition. This article examines the role of journaling in promoting reflection among undergraduate nursing students. Method: The PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines were used to conduct the review. Concepts for journaling and nursing students were searched in four databases. Data were extracted from 19 sources to identify study type, participants, descriptions of journaling, and findings. Results: Studies took place in a variety of clinical and classroom settings; the majority used a guided format. Various frameworks and tools were used to provide conceptual support. Conclusion: Most studies found journaling to be effective in promoting reflection and the development of clinical judgment and emotional competency. However, more studies are needed to develop appropriate rubrics for assessment.