Academic and clinical dissonance in nursing education: Are we guilty of failure to rescue?

Document Type



The experience of cognitive dissonance in novice clinical nursing students is examined. These students often confront an incongruity between the rule-bound academic ideal of nursing with which they have been prepared and the more flexible, intuition-driven clinical reality they encounter. Without insightful guidance from clinical faculty, the students' response to this dissonance could include disillusionment with clinical nursing practice or devaluation of the academic ideal of nursing. Cognitive Dissonance Theory, the Novice to Expert Model, and the Neuman Systems Model provide insight into this phenomenon and serve as a theoretical foundation for recommended strategies and interventions for optimal response to dissonance between academic ideal and clinical reality in nursing students.


Nursing assessment – Study and teaching; Nursing students; Nursing


Nursing | Other Nursing

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