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Nurse education
Nurse educators should use a range of approaches to teach students compassion
  1. Beth Mahler
  1. Centre for Nursing and Health Studies, Athabasca University, Athabasca, Alberta, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Beth Mahler, Centre for Nursing and Health Studies, Athabasca University, Athabasca, AB T9S 3A3, Canada; bethp{at}

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Commentary on: Younas A, Maddigan J. Proposing a policy framework for nursing education for fostering compassion in nursing students: a critical review. J Adv Nurs 2019;75(8):1621–1636.

Implications for practice and research

  • It is possible that nursing students can learn to be compassionate through achievement of affective domain learning outcomes and reflective practice.

  • Research is needed to evaluate the effectiveness of teaching strategies, such as reflection, to cultivate compassion in nursing students.


Compassion is identified by the International Council of Nursing (2012) as one of the core nursing values.1 Yet, even with an increased focus on compassion, there remains uncertainty about how to cultivate compassion in nursing students. This paper reports on a review of selected published research undertaken to identify background for the development of curriculum and policy that facilitates student nurses in becoming compassionate caregivers.


This was a critical review of 26 published …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.