Learning environment and emotional well-being: A qualitative study of undergraduate nursing students

Ambreen Tharani, Yusra Husain, Ian Warwick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Background Students can experience multiple stressors during their academic life which have an impact on their emotional health and academic progress. Purpose This study sought to explore students’ understanding of and factors affecting their emotional well-being in an undergraduate nursing programme at a private nursing institution in Karachi, Pakistan. Method In this qualitative study, data were collected through individual semi-structured interviews using a self-designed guide from 16 participants in total, drawn from various years of the selected undergraduate programme. Findings Participants noted that the quality of the ‘learning environment’ was a key influence on their emotional well-being. They highlighted faculty role and teaching approaches, academic expectations and availability of learning resources as important factors that affected their emotional well-being as well as their academic performance. Institutional support was also deemed important. Factors associated with a ‘hidden curriculum’ were found to be a threat to students’ emerging sense of professionalism. Conclusion Suggestions are given as to how the learning environment in the nursing programme under study can be improved to take into account students’ emotional well-being. Emphasis needs to be laid on developing supportive faculty role to provide conducive learning environment and professional development of students. Efforts to develop stress-free academic environment with supportive institutional policies need to be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-87
Number of pages6
JournalNurse Education Today
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


  • Academic stressors
  • Emotional well-being
  • Faculty role
  • Hidden curriculum
  • Learning environment
  • Student support


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