Background The Millennial generation comprises the majority of learners in the traditional university setting. Nurse educators identify problems developing teaching strategies in education that undergraduate Millennial nursing students find engaging and meaningful. The purpose of this study was to identify the perception of Millennial students participating in traditional pedagogies and its significant implications for nursing education. Method This interpretive phenomenological study recorded the lived experiences of Millennial nursing students' experiences in traditional classrooms. One on one interviews with 13 Millennial students were conducted. Data collection and analysis aligned with van Manen's method. Results There are five themes that emerged from the data: physically present, mentally dislocated; unspoken peer pressure; wanting more from the professors; surface learning; and lack of trust. The essence focuses around the central theme of belonging, while students identified the most significant challenge in a classroom was disengaging professors. Conclusion Recommendations for faculty to engage nursing students through a method of shared responsibility of educational approach are given. Blended teaching pedagogies that offer traditional and active methods are recommended.
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