Purpose: The aim of this study is to investigate: a) the application of theories of transformative and situated learning in nursing staff’s workplace and b) the extent to which the novice and experienced nursing staff are aware of changes in their beliefs and values, procedures for gradual adaptation into the practice community and how they reflect on issues they face and could be willing to approach again.
Materials – Methods: The survey questionnaire was based on the assessment tool proposed by Kathleen P. King (1998) and consists of 18 closed and one open questions. The sample size was 194 nurses and nursing assistants working in a public hospital in Peloponnese district. The response rate was 94.2 %. For the statistical analysis the program IBM SPSS 19.0 was used.
Results: 70.6 % of respondents state that, during their first two years of carrier, they have faced a situation that led them to question their way of thinking or acting. Regarding the time needed for integration in the working community, 67 % stated that it was two years. According to the 74.2 % of the participants the time needed for integration in the core was five years. Finally the 85.9 % of the respondents reported they are still learning by routine cooperation with their experienced colleagues. Increase of working experience was associated with an increase in the degree of agreement on learning patterns of participants (analysis of personal practice (p = 0,004), monitoring training programs (p <0,001), attending conferences and workshops ( p <0,001) and study books and articles (p = 0,004) . Nurses agreed to a greater degree on the learning patterns they use (monitoring educational programs (p = 0,001), attending conferences and workshops (p <0,001) and study books and articles (p = 0,001) compared to nursing assistants.
Conclusions: The study shows that nurses use critical thinking and reflection in their working environment and adapts in the practice community using continuous learning by interacting with more experienced colleagues.
Keywords: critical reflection, transformative learning, situated learning, continuing education and lifelong learning