Near-peer teaching in undergraduate nurse education: An integrative review

Susan Irvine, Brett Williams, Lisa McKenna

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction/Background: Studies in peer learning and teaching reported in the nursing literature are mainly descriptive, summarising positive aspects using survey and interviews. Application of pedagogical approaches to near-peer teaching in undergraduate nursing, using educational psychology frameworks to explain the outcomes, is relatively unknown. Objectives: The objective of this integrative review was to ascertain outcomes of near-peer teaching in undergraduate nurse education and theoretical frameworks used to explain outcomes of near-peer teaching. Design: Included qualitative and quantitative studies. Method: The review was conducted in accordance with the PRISMA protocol and Joanna Briggs Institute processes and included studies published between the years 1990 and 2017. Quality appraisal involved two independent reviewers analysing the data, and narrative synthesis was used to report results. Results: Two hundred and twenty-one abstracts were assessed independently by two reviewers for relevance to near-peer teaching in undergraduate nurse education, 29 articles selected for further review with 10 meeting the inclusion criteria. Benefits of near-peer teaching were reported as creating a safe supportive learning environment, learners viewing near-peer teachers as effective role models and increased confidence experienced by learner and teacher. Studies focused mainly on cognition in relation to performance with little emphasis on metacognition or affective behaviours, highlighting the need for more studies to provide definitive evidence supporting this pedagogical approach and framing its implementation around theories, particularly from educational psychology. Conclusion: Lack of training provided to near-peer teachers highlighted that it is imperative that faculty embed near-peer teaching into the curriculum. To develop this educational intervention, studies in near-peer teaching are required to assess affective behaviours and metacognitive qualities of near-peer teachers to determine how this educational intervention can impact learning and performance of both the learner and near-peer teacher.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-68
Number of pages9
JournalNurse Education Today
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


  • Educational psychology
  • Integrative review
  • Near-peer teaching
  • Nursing student
  • Undergraduate

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