Background: Innovative teaching strategies in nursing education are essential with increasing enrollment. Collaborative learning and leadership (CLL) activities encourage near-peer learning through mentorship between senior-level and novice students while supporting teaching ratios in lab and clinical. In this study, senior nursing students' perceptions and performance during CLL activities were explored. Methods: Final-semester senior students participated in CLL activities and were evaluated on their leadership and engagement. Grading rubric results were summarized using descriptive statistics. Thematic analysis of students' post-CLL reflections supported common themes. Results: Students' average scores (97.53%) confirm students were prepared and engaged in CLL activities. Senior students enjoyed “building confidence” through these activities, with a consistent theme of “becoming a leader,” noted in reflections. Conclusion: Near-peer learning activities assisted senior students in development of leadership and communication skills, preparing them for nursing practice. Recommendations include developing instructions for varied CLL activities and exploring faculty perspectives regarding this experience.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes