Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing




Carroll Iwasiw

Second Advisor

Marilyn Evans


The mandala is a circular art form used by psychologists to access subconscious thought through symbolism and it has recently been adopted by nurse educators as a learning strategy for self awareness. However it has yet to be examined for this use in nursing education using rigorous research methodologies. The lived experiences of six first year undergraduate nursing students who completed a mandala assignment for emotional learning were explored using hermeneutic phenomenology. Participants experiences diverged from their original expectations that the mandala assignment would allow for a fun and free expression of ‘self. Instead their experiences resembled those associated with socialization in nursing education. Participants described both self-reflection and critical-reflection while completing the mandala assignment. Nurse educators and researchers can gain insight regarding the use of this assignment as an integrated transformative learning approach for emotional learning.



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