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Implicit Bias: Does it Impact Nursing Education?

By Susan Sportsman, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN

Our responses to others are influenced by many factors, some of which are attributable to our own thoughts, experiences and emotions, and some that reflect our responses to the behavior of others.  As educators, we bring those thoughts, experiences, and emotions to our interactions with students.  We are called to react positively to all our students, assessing them objectively and providing appropriate challenges for their strengths and support for their weaknesses.  This is a lofty goal and one that is often hard to do. One reason for this difficulty—although certainly not the only one—is the impact of our own biases, particularly those that are implicit.  In fact, concern over the role that implicit biases play in all aspects of our lives is a “hot topic” in both the scientific literature and popular culture. Continue reading “Implicit Bias: Does it Impact Nursing Education?”

Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing Education

By Susan Sportsman, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN

Last month, I was pleased to give a presentation at a faculty development workshop on Evidence-based Practice (EBP) in Nursing Education at the Jane and Robert Cizik School of Nursing at the University of Texas at Houston. The participants were very engaged in our discussion and provided me with food for thought for this blog. The question that kept bubbling up for me as I traveled home from Houston was, “What evidence do we actually use as we plan our curricula, our courses, and our teaching-learning strategies for class, lab/simulation, and clinical experience?”

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W.A.I.T.: Impact on Teaching Clinical Judgment

by Susan Sportsman, RN, PhD, ANEF, FAAN

After being a faculty for many years, I find that I often want to “instruct” my family and friends. This urge is particularly prevalent with my husband. Being a very nice man, when I begin to “instruct” him, he appears to be listening (he looks my way), but the look in his eyes says very clearly,  “I have no intention of doing whatever it is that she is saying.” When I see this look, I always say, “W.A.I.T.—Why Am I Talking?Continue reading “W.A.I.T.: Impact on Teaching Clinical Judgment”

Clinical Judgment: Putting the Puzzle Together

by Susan Sportsman, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN

How do we help nursing students make good clinical judgments? That is the question that most of us struggle with. We “give” students the necessary knowledge in class through lectures, readings, and various learning activities. We provide opportunities to “practice” in simulation/labs and during their clinical experiences. We assign increasingly challenging nursing practice opportunities. As a result, many students learn to put the pieces together to make good judgments—most of the time. However, every novice nurse I have ever worked with has been worried about making a clinical mistake—mistakes which usually are driven by poor clinical judgment.

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The “Application or Higher” Dilemma in the Era of Next Generation NCLEX

Writing test items for a faculty-made test is perhaps one of the most difficult tasks that a faculty member faces. In Critical Thinking in Test Item Writing, Morrison, Nibert, and Flick (2006) emphasize the importance of crafting a test item that requires test-takers to at least apply content in order to correctly answer the question. This recommendation reflects the National Council of State Board of Nursing’s policy that all NCLEX test items require cognition at the application level or higher. Yet, we all know how difficult it is to develop test items that correspond to the upper levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Cognitive Behavior. 

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Next Generation NCLEX: The Importance of Cues

Given the buzz around Next Generation NCLEX (NGN), you probably already have a good understanding of what NGN is and what you can be doing now to start preparing for this increased focus on clinical judgment. (If not, check out our recent articles on these topics.) This month we will drill down into the use of cues as a means of providing opportunities for nursing students to practice clinical judgment throughout their educational experience.

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Next Generation NCLEX: What should we be doing now?

by Susan Sportsman, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN

Nurse educators involved in RN pre-licensure programs are waiting with bated breath for updates on the progress of the Next Generation NCLEX (NGN) project, designed to develop more sophisticated methods to assess the ability of candidates to effectively use clinical judgement to care for patients. (See an overview of this project here and complete information from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing here.) 

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Next Generation NCLEX (NGN): A Brief Summary

by Susan Sportsman, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN

Does the NCLEX-RN™ Examination measure the knowledge, skills, and abilities newly graduated pre-licensure nurses need in order to practice safely in the rapidly evolving practice environment?  This was the question the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN)’s NCLEX Examination Committee asked the Examination staff in 2016, stimulating an extensive research project to determine the ability of current and potential innovative test items to adequately test nursing clinical judgment. Continue reading “Next Generation NCLEX (NGN): A Brief Summary”

The Hard Truth About Soft Skills

by Susan Sportsman, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN and Cathy Converse

Business and professional literature is replete with discussions of skills and competencies necessary to be a good leader. The discussion frequently includes both “hard” and “soft” skills and the relative importance of each. Hard skills, often obtained through formal education, are particularly helpful in an environment where the rules for using these skills are constant.  Conversely, soft skills, often self-taught, may vary depending upon the environment in which they are practiced. Continue reading “The Hard Truth About Soft Skills”

Why Effective Assessment is Important to Student Success

by Susan Sportsman, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN

Assessment, the starting point to an effective clinical judgment, is an important competency of nurses and other health care providers. When caring for patients, we use a wide range of assessment techniques, including review of the presenting complaint; health history; complete physical assessment; and family, social, and cultural history, to collect sufficient data to plan patient-centered care.  However, we all know that in certain clinical situations, a complete assessment is not an appropriate strategy, because of the patient’s condition and/or limited time and resources available.  In those situations, a focused assessment that delves into a specific identified problem or issue is more appropriate. Continue reading “Why Effective Assessment is Important to Student Success”