Nursing students' experiences and perceptions of an anatomy laboratory session: Mixed methods study

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Many nursing curricula do not offer anatomy laboratories and exposure to cadaveric material. In this mixed methods study, nursing students' perceptions and experiences from an anatomy laboratory session were examined. Students from two academic nursing programs (a four-year general baccalaureate nursing program and a two-year accelerated nursing program for non-nursing baccalaureate graduates) took part in an anatomy laboratory session (N = 223). Participants' learning experiences, emotional experiences, and satisfaction with the anatomy laboratory session were assessed by their responses to closed-ended questionnaires. Participants' reasons for participation and suggestions for improvement were examined by open-ended questions. A mixed methods analysis of the data revealed a high level of satisfaction with the anatomy laboratory experience. Positive attitudes and learning experiences correlated with a sense of identification with the nursing profession. Satisfaction was positively associated with a perceived quality of learning and negatively associated with a negative emotional experience. Curiosity and self-challenge, as well as the quest for tangible, in-depth learning, were major motivators involved in the students' desire to participate in the session. Both qualitative and quantitative analyses indicated that the educational experience was significant. Therefore, it is recommended to integrate anatomy laboratory sessions into anatomy courses for nursing students. This will help to illustrate and assimilate classroom material and strengthen nursing students' sense of identification with their profession.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)898-909
Number of pages12
JournalAnatomical Sciences Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2022


  • anatomical illustration
  • anatomy laboratory
  • gross anatomy education
  • nursing curriculum
  • nursing education
  • undergraduate education

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anatomy
  • Histology
  • Embryology


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