Positive Consequences of the Hidden Curriculum in Undergraduate Nursing Education: An Integrative Review 

Hadi Abbaspour, Hossein Karimi Moonaghi, Hossein Kareshki, Habibollah Esmaeili


Background: Hidden Curriculum (HC) plays an essential role in nursing education and professionalism. However, its positive consequences have been overlooked. Thus, this study aimed to explore and discuss the positive consequences of HC in nursing undergraduate education.

Materials and Methods: A comprehensive literature search was conducted to investigate articles published between January 2010 and December 2020. Furthermore, Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta‑Analyses (PRISMA) was used to select articles, and Consolidated criteria for Reporting Qualitative research (COREQ) and Strengthening the Reporting of Observational studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) tools were employed to appraise qualitative and quantitative studies, respectively. The applied search strategy resulted in a final list of 16 articles out of a total of 132 articles. Next, the data were integrated and categorized using the Whittemore and Knafl methodology.

Results: Three categories were identified: Individual Consequences; involving increased self‑confidence, self‑esteem, assertiveness, adaptation, autonomy, and lifelong learning. Social Consequences; involving enhanced socialization, cultural consciousness, and social interactions. Professional Consequences; involving professional socialization, professional identity, professional ethics, link theory and practice, and professional dignity.

Conclusions: Altogether, we concluded that the emergence of HC and its positive and remarkable consequences in nursing knowledge helps the personal, social, and professional development in nursing.


Curriculum, nursing education, undergraduate

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