Nursing Programs See Real Life Results from Real Life Clinical Reasoning Scenarios

(EON) As the time nursing faculty have to supervise students in hands-on procedures continues to decline, many nursing students are not fully developing clinical reasoning skills*. As a result, students and faculty believe that nursing students are not adequately prepared for their first job**.

“Real Life allows our students the opportunity to see how their decisions have impact on patient care outcomes. Additionally, as the simulation progresses the program responds to their decisions leading to evaluation of their critical thinking processes when caring for patients”

“Nursing programs and educators have limited resources and time to provide valuable, hands-on clinical experience to each student,” said Sheryl Sommer, director of nursing education and curriculum at ATI Nursing Education. “Online, interactive simulation brings the real-life nursing experience and clinical scenario training to the student regardless of location.”

To help nurse educators address the gap of providing students with meaningful clinical situations, ATI Nursing Education, the leading provider of online nurse education programs, created Real Life Clinical Reasoning Scenarios. Real Life allows students to build clinical decision making skills by being exposed to clinical situations without requiring time in a physical, clinic setting. Approximately 90 nursing programs are currently using Real Life, ranging from two-year PN programs to four-year RN programs. Real Life can add value to any nursing program, maximizing both class and clinical periods for students.

“Nursing students today are mobile citizens, using computers, apps and phones for data retrieval and analysis, allowing them to find the most current information. Real Life Clinical Reasoning Scenarios fit in beautifully with their need for just-in-time learning,” said Beth Phillips, MSN, RN, CNE, an assistant professor at the Duke University School of Nursing. “The scenarios present realistic patient situations with multiple choices for students to select. I can see the students’ line of thinking based on their decisions, responses, and reactions. Equally important, the students can see where they may have gotten off track, but only after they have worked through the entire case. Real Life prepares them to be critical thinkers and utilize clinical reasoning when they care for real patients.”

Real Life Clinical Reasoning Scenarios are developed by a team of nurse educators and practicing nurses. Students can access the electronic medical record of the patient as they progress through the scenario. Educators have the ability to turn on or off, a feature that highlights the optimal decision path. This allows students to work through a scenario with each “optimal choice” highlighted to facilitate remediation.

“Real Life allows our students the opportunity to see how their decisions have impact on patient care outcomes. Additionally, as the simulation progresses the program responds to their decisions leading to evaluation of their critical thinking processes when caring for patients,” said Lisa Young, Simulation Center Director, Ashland University. “Our team has also found it very easy to use for both faculty and students. It provides faculty greater flexibility and the student more independence to practice clinical reasoning skills.”

Real Life also offers reporting to assist nurse educators in curriculum planning. Reporting-per-student features reasoning scenario performance with date/time stamp, performance related to reasoning scenario outcomes, and decision log with optimal decisions highlighted. The group reports provide students’ composite scores, individual time use and scores, and group performance related to reasoning scenario outcomes. In addition to student growth, this reporting information can be an accreditation documentation resource.

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