Regular readers of the Collaborative Momentum Consulting blog may remember the November 2020 story of Ashley, a high school dropout who wanted to be a nurse. A single mother of a small boy, Ashley had been working at low paying jobs when she was encouraged by a friend to complete a GED and take prerequisite courses necessary for a nursing degree. Grades in these courses, although not outstanding, were sufficient for admission to the nursing program. Ashley struggled her first year in the nursing program—making low C’s in all her nursing courses, although she performed well in during her clinical experience.
Perhaps the most critical challenge we face is to ensure that our graduates are competent when making clinical judgements appropriate for novice nurses. Developing this competence has always been important—after all, effective clinical judgment is what keeps the clients we serve safe. However, the implementation of the Next Generation NCLEX (NGN) by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) in 2023 has brought this need into prominence. At the same time, the pandemic has created the need to deliver more instruction for nursing students in an online format. Let’s look at four principles to help us achieve the outcomes of developing novice nurses who make effective clinical judgment the core of their nursing practice, all of which can be implemented in an online setting. Continue reading “Developing Clinical Judgment in an Online Environment”
“Ashley” was admitted to a nursing program with several challenges. She had dropped out of high school at 15 because she was pregnant; she got married and had a baby at 16; and was divorced at 17. For years, she worked at low paying jobs to support her son, although her dream was to become a nurse. Her grades in high school were not great because she rarely went to class. Finally, at 30 years of age, encouraged by a nurse who was the mother of one of her son’s friends, she successfully completed a GED exam and slowly began to take the required courses to apply for a nursing program. Her grades, although not stellar, were sufficient to make her competitive for admission. Her math score on the admission test was extraordinarily high, despite a low reading comprehensive score, which made her admission possible. Continue reading “Student Remediation Programs Make Success Possible for Nursing Students”
Online discussion boards provide the most effective learning when students are given the opportunity to demonstrate higher order thinking skills. Regardless of the topic of discussion, students must be able to demonstrate that they can: Continue reading “Evaluating Online Discussions”
The impact of the coronavirus is being felt everywhere. As I write this, schools, colleges, and universities across the country are temporarily closed and planning to move classes to online instruction when they reopen. For faculty in nursing programs, this directive is manageable, as many face-to-face courses involve some level of interaction online. However, as I talk to faculty from across the country, I hear concerns regarding the loss of a caring learning environment among students and faculty in courses delivered only online. I also hear concerns that implementing teaching-learning strategies to stimulate critical thinking is more difficult in an online environment that in face-to-face instruction. Perhaps during this national emergency it would be helpful for all of us to think about “best practices” for online instruction, particularly those that involve creating a caring environment that encourages critical thinking. Continue reading “Online Learning: Creating a Caring Environment that Encourages Critical Thinking”
by Susan Sportsman, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN and Cathy Converse
“Courage is the first of human qualities because it’s the quality that guarantees the others.” –Aristotle
Leadership is on the hearts and minds of most of us as we navigate the complexities of our personal and professional lives. Although volumes have been written about effective leadership using a variety of perspectives, the need for courage in times of conflict and discord, particularly in situations of perceived high risk, seems particularly relevant. Few environments represent higher risk than health care. Continue reading “The Case for Courageous Leadership”
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”
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.