Background: The unlearning process is complex and sometimes painful in nature. This process usually occurs in social interactions and is very dependent on social contexts and the work environment. 

Objective: To explore the concerns and mental challenges in facing unlearning situations in nurses. 

Methods: This qualitative study using content analysis was conducted in 2013-2015. Participants were 25 people, and research environment was hospitals in Mashhad and Gonabad. The method of data collection was unstructured interview, and sampling was continued until data saturation. First, the recorded interviews were transcribed and reviewed several times. Then open codes were extracted and after reviewing several times, were classified into subcategories based on semantic similarity. Finally, the similar subcategories were put into the main categories semantically.

Results: Data analysis led to the emergence of 1,180 initial codes and 8 categories and 3 themes. Our themes were discouraging/encouraging situation, double-edged sword colleagues, and organizational policies paradox, that the central theme of progressive and suppressor organizational climate paradox were derived from them.

Conclusion: Exposure to unlearning situations is a complex process of which its adoption and implementation is difficult and challenging. This suggests that supporting nurses and attention to their mental concerns and providing favorable learning conditions is required.


Keywords: Unlearning, Mental challenges, Nurse, Content analysis
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