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”