Volume 4, Number 1 / February issue 2018
Diane L. Hice
Concept-based learning and enhancement of metacognition in nursing education

A concept-based curriculum uses overall principles with broad perspectives and applies them to relevant scenarios. In contrast to content-focused instruction, these broader-based concepts can have wide-reaching applicability. Concept-based attributes such as problem-solving, analysis, mapping, and critical thinking can reinforce metacognitive skills and promote higher-order thinking. These constructs are of particular importance to the provision of quality nursing care.
A review of the literature was conducted to explore concept-based learning and how it informs metacognition in nursing education. Further experience, research and faculty education is needed to demonstrate the success of content-based learning, its influence on metacognitive development, and, most importantly, its promise to ensure safe, high quality patient care.
Keywords: metacognition, metacognition and nursing practice, concept-based education, concept-based teaching in nursing

Cite this article:
Diane L. Hice. Concept-based learning and enhancement of metacognition in nursing education. Acta Scientiae et Intellectus, 4(1)2018, 10-19.


  1. All, A.C., & Huyeke, L.I. (2007). Serial concept maps: Tools for concept analysis. Journal of Nursing Education, 46 (5), 217-223.
  2. American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2017). The impact of education on nursing practice [Fact sheet]. Retrieved from http://
  3. August-Brady, M.M. (2005). The effect of a metacognitive intervention on approach to and self- regulation of learning in baccalaureate nursing students. Journal of Nursing Education, 44 (7), 297-304.
  4. Benner, P., Stephen, M., Leonard, V., & Day, L. (2010). Educating nurses: A call for radical transformation. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
  5. Blessinger, P., & Carfora, P. (Eds.). (2014). Inquiry-based learning for the arts, humanities, and social sciences; A conceptual and practical resource for educators. Howard House, UK: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
  6. Brady, M. (2004). Thinking big: A conceptual framework for the study of everything. Phi Delta Kappan, 86 (4), 276-281.
  7. Bristol, T.J., & Rasati, L.J. (2013). Successful concept-based learning through the integration of technology. Teaching and Learning in Nursing, (8), 112-116.
  8. Chiejina, E.N., & Ebenebe, R.C. (2009). Metacognitive strategies adopted by nursing students. Global Advanced Research Journal of Educational Research and Review, 2 (5), 125-130.
  9. Cooper, K. (2014. Critical thinking in critical care. Journal of Education and Sociology, 5(2), 5-9.
  10. Driessen, E. (2004). When I say...metacognition. Medical Education, 48, 561-562.
  11. Durwin, C.C., & Reese-Weber, M. (2018). EdPsych modules. Los Angeles, CA: SAGE.
  12. Erickson, H.L. (2012). Concept-based teaching and learning. International Baccalaureate Organization Position Paper.
  13. Fink, L.D. (2007). The power of course design to increase student engagement and learning. Peer Review, (1), 13-17.
  14. Gauthier, G, & Lajoie, S. (2013). Do expert clinical teachers have a shared understanding of what constitutes a competent reasoning performance in case-based teaching? Instr Sci, 42, 579-594. doi: 10.1007/s11251-013-9290-5
  15. Giddens, J.F. (Ed). (2017). Concepts for nursing practice (2nd ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.
  16. Giddens, J.F., & Brady, D.P. (2007). Rescuing nursing education from content saturation: The case for a concept-based curriculum. Journal of Nursing Education, 46 (2), 65-68.
  17. Gubrud, P. (2016). Teaching in the clinical setting. In D. Billings & J. Halstead (Eds.). Teaching in nursing: A guide for faculty (5th ed.). (pp. 282-303).
  18. Heims, M.L., & Boyd, S.T. (1990). Concept-based learning activities in clinical nursing education. Journal of Nursing Education, 29 (6), 249-254.
  19. Herrman, J.W. (2016). Creative teaching strategies for the nurse educator (2nd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis Company.
  20. Hess, K.K., Jones, B.S., Carlock, D., & Walkup, J.R. (2009). Cognitive rigor: Blending the strengths of Bloom's taxonomy and Webb's depth of knowledge to enhance classroom- level processes. ERIC, 1-8. Retrieved from
  21. Greiner, A.C., & Knebel, E. (Eds.). Health professions education: A bridge to quality. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press.
  22. Iwasiw, CL. & Goldenberg, D. (2015). Curriculum development in nursing education. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett learning.
  23. Jaafarpour, M., Aazami, S., & Mozafari, M. (2016). Does concept mapping enhance learning outcomes of nursing students? Nurse Education Today, 36, 129-132.
  24. Josephsen, J. (2014). Critically reflexive theory: A proposal for nursing education. Advances in nursing, 1-7. Retrieved from http://dx/
  25. Kazi, S., Makris, N., & Demetriou, A. (2008). Self-awareness and self-mapping of cognitive processes from early childhood to adolescence. In M.F. Shaughnessy, M.F.J.
  26. Veenman, & C. Kleyn-Kennedy (Eds.). Meta-cognition: A recent review of research, theory and perspectives (pp. 141-159). New York, New York: Nova Sciences, Inc.
  27. Lasater, K., & Nielsen, A. (2009). The influence of concept-based learning activities on students' clinical judgment development. Journal of Nursing Education, 48 (8), 441-446. doi: 10.3928/01484834-20090518-04
  28. McGrath, B. (2015). The development of a concept-based learning approach as part of an integrative nursing curriculum. Whitireia Nursing and Health Journal, 22, 11-17.
  29. Medina, M.S., Castleberry, A.N., & Persky, A.M. (2017). Strategies for improving learner metacognition in health professional education. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 81 (4), 1-10.
  30. Nielson, A. (2009). Concept-based learning activities using the clinical judgment model as a foundation for clinical learning. Journal of Nursing Education, 48 (6), 350-354. doi: 10.9999/01484834-20090515-09
  31. Norris, M. & Gimber, P. (2013). Developing nursing students' metacognitive skills using social technology. Teaching and Learning in Nursing, 8, 17-21.
  32. Oguz-Unver, A., & Arabacioglu, S. (2014). A comparison of inquiry-based learning (IBL), problem-based learning (PBL) and project-based learning (PJBL) in science education. Academia Journal of Educational Research, 2 (7), 120-128. Doi: org/10.15413/ajcr.2014.0129
  33. Paul, R., & Elder, L. (2014). How to improve student learning? Tomales, CA: Foundation for Critical Thinking Press.
  34. Phillips, J.M. (2016). Strategies to promote student engagement and active learning. In D. Billings & J. Halstead (Eds.). Teaching in nursing: A guide for faculty (5th ed.). (pp. 245-262). St Louis, MO: Elsevier.
  35. Popil, I. (2011). Promotion of critical thinking by using case studies as teaching method. Nurse Education Today, 31 (2), 204-207. doi: 10.210.16/j.nedt.2010.06.002
  36. Scheckel, M. (2016). Designing courses and learning experiences. In D. Billings & J. Halstead (Eds.)., Teaching in nursing: A guide for faculty (5th ed.). (pp. 159-185). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.
  37. Sullivan, D.T. (2016). An introduction to curriculum development. In D. Billings & J. Halstead (Eds.), Teaching in nursing: A guide for faculty (5th ed.). (pp. 89-117).
  38. Walker, M. (2014). From theory to practice: Concept-based inquiry in a high school art classroom. Studies in Art Education, 55 (4), 287-299.
  39. West, E. (2016). Constructionist theory and concept-based learning in professional nursing ethics: Implications for nurse educators. Teaching Ethics, 16 (1), 121-130. doi: 10.5840/tej201633129
  40. Worrell, P.J. (1990). Metacognition: Implications for instruction in nursing education. Journal of Nursing Education, 29(4), 170-175.