Poetry as hybrid pedagogy in mental health nurse education

Nigel P. Short, Alec Grant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Poetry has emerged as a significant resource in nurse education in recent times. Over the last four years for example, this journal has hosted a number research and theoretical- conceptual papers that discuss and evaluate the use of poetry in undergraduate nurse curricula. In these papers, their authors express the explicit aim of advancing nurse education through helping students to explore their feelings about practice issues over a range of contexts. Included among these are reflective writing (Coleman and Willis, 2015), compassionate practice (Curtis, 2013), the development of emotional intelligence (Jack, 2015), the promotion of liberal nurse education (McKie, 2012) and clinical practice artistry (Chan, 2014), and the use of poetry to remove barriers to perception (Rolfe, 2012). From a related but qualitatively different emerging contemporary perspective, our aim in this paper is to promote poetry as hybrid pedagogy in mental health nurse education. We do so in order to challenge longstanding epistemological assumptions guiding aspects of the conventional range, content and delivery of the mental health nursing curriculum. We wish to highlight the value of adding the poetic work in context, of academics who have hybrid, ‘hyphenated’ identities to this curriculum. In our case, this is reflected in the fact that we explicitly teach and write from the standpoint position of mental health/nurse lecturers-ex- mental health professionals-survivors of the UK psychiatric system (Grant et al., 2015a). We will explore this topic area further and in a more nuanced way in this current paper. In specifically focusing on poetry as hybrid pedagogy, one of our own co-written and previously unpublished poems will be used in a theoretical and analytical context to advance our argument for the use of this approach in mental health nurse education. In the final section of our paper, our attention will turn to some of the benefits and one possible drawback for this approach, emerging from our discussion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-63
Number of pages4
JournalNurse Education Today
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2016

Bibliographical note

© 2016. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/


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