BACKGROUND : Student nurses require training in the development of the interpersonal skills that are required for
therapeutic nurse–patient relationships. This training should be providedwithin the basic education of nurses in
a higher education institution. As the birth years of Generation Y range fromthe early 1980s to the late 1990s this
generation is of the age group that enrols in higher education institutions. The unique learning needs of this generation
necessitate a review of teaching strategies used in the development of interpersonal skills.
OBJECTIVES : The aimof this study is to present a literature reviewon the significance and development of interpersonal
skills in Generation Y nursing students through nursing education.
METHODOLOGY : Literature searcheswere conducted on databases—with the use of Cumulative Index of Nursing and
Allied Health (CINAHL), Clinical key, PubMed and Google Scholar—using specific keywords and a timeframe of
2005 to 2013. All relevant articles were read critically.
FINDINGS : Interpersonal skills are at the core of the nurse–patient relationship. Meaningful interaction is
recognised in Swanson's theory of “informed caring”. Debates, case studies, role-playing, storytelling, journaling,
simulations and web page links to audio and video clips are some of the teaching strategies which can develop
the interpersonal skills needed for meaningful interactions.
CONCLUSION : Teaching strategies embedded in the deconstruction pedagogies stimulate critical, analytical thinking
through methods which complement the unique learning styles of Generation Y learners.