The benefits of humor in nursing education

J Nurs Educ. 2002 Nov;41(11):476-81. doi: 10.3928/0148-4834-20021101-06.


This study was designed to examine the perceived benefits of intentionally using humor in the nursing classroom. A multiple case study of three associate degree nursing instructors and their classes was developed with qualitative methods, which included observations, interviews, and surveys. Data were examined within and across cases for commonality or difference of experience. Strong connections were made between humor and learning. Teachers and students expressed benefits they believed were received from humor. Humor can be an effective, multipurpose teaching tool for nurse educators to convey course content, hold students' attention, relieve anxiety, establish rapport with students, and make learning fun. When combined with other teaching methods, humor can enhance student learning.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Education, Nursing, Associate / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Learning*
  • Male
  • Stress, Physiological / prevention & control
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Teaching / methods*
  • Wit and Humor as Topic*