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lifelong learning, nursing students, self-directed learning, self-directed learning abilities



  1. Kaulback, Michelle K. EdD, RN, FNP-BC


Background: Lifelong learning is an important part of professionalism as nurses need to maintain competency and current knowledge for practice.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between baccalaureate nursing students' self-directed learning (SDL) abilities and lifelong learning orientation.


Methods: A quantitative, correlational research design was used. Students (n = 124) completed the Self-Directed Learning Inventory (SDLI) and the Jefferson Scale of Lifelong Learning-Health Professions Students (JeffSLL-HPS).


Results: There was a significant, positive correlation between the SDLI total scores and the JeffSLL-HPS total scores (r = 0.64, P < .0001). There also were positive correlations between the JeffSLL-HPS total scores and 4 SDL domains: interpersonal communication (r = 0.39, P < .0001), planning and implementing (r = 0.52, P < .0001), self-monitoring (r = 0.48, P < .0001), and learning motivation (r = 0. 63, P < .0001).


Conclusion: Nursing faculty should implement teaching and learning strategies that foster SDL abilities to increase lifelong learning orientation in nursing students.