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The Influence of Concept-Based Learning Activities on Students’ Clinical Judgment Development

Kathie Lasater, EdD, RN, ANEF; Ann Nielsen, MN, RN

Abstract

The traditional nursing clinical education model of total patient care is becoming inadequate. New models are needed to foster deeper clinical thinking, thereby affecting students’ development of clinical judgment. Concept-based learning activities, first introduced in 1990, offer a focus on a specific concept. This study evaluated the effect of concept-based learning activities on the development of clinical judgment in baccalaureate nursing students. The clinical judgment of students who were and were not exposed to concept-based learning activities was compared. Quantitative data were analyzed using a univariate analysis. In addition, a focus group consisting of members of the treatment group provided qualitative data. Results suggest concept-based learning activities are a clinical learning strategy that should be considered by faculty to deepen clinical thinking in preparation for reaching sound clinical judgments.

Authors

Dr. Lasater is Assistant Professor and Ms. Nielsen is Instructor, Oregon Health & Science University, School of Nursing, Portland, Oregon.

This study was presented in part at the Sigma Theta Tau Biennial Convention, Baltimore, Maryland, November 2007. This study was funded in part by a research grant from the Beta Psi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International.

Address correspondence to Kathie Lasater, EdD, RN, ANEF, Assistant Professor, Oregon Health & Science University, School of Nursing, 3455 SW Veterans Hospital Road, Portland, OR 97239; e-mail: .lasaterk@ohsu.edu

10.3928/01484834-20090518-04

The traditional nursing clinical education model of total patient care is becoming inadequate. New models are needed to foster deeper clinical thinking, thereby affecting students’ development of clinical judgment. Concept-based learning activities, first introduced in 1990, offer a focus on a specific concept. This study evaluated the effect of concept-based learning activities on the development of clinical judgment in baccalaureate nursing students. The clinical judgment of students who were and were not exposed to concept-based learning activities was compared. Quantitative data were analyzed using a univariate analysis. In addition, a focus group consisting of members of the treatment group provided qualitative data. Results suggest concept-based learning activities are a clinical learning strategy that should be considered by faculty to deepen clinical thinking in preparation for reaching sound clinical judgments.

Dr. Lasater is Assistant Professor and Ms. Nielsen is Instructor, Oregon Health & Science University, School of Nursing, Portland, Oregon.

This study was presented in part at the Sigma Theta Tau Biennial Convention, Baltimore, Maryland, November 2007. This study was funded in part by a research grant from the Beta Psi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International.

Address correspondence to Kathie Lasater, EdD, RN, ANEF, Assistant Professor, Oregon Health & Science University, School of Nursing, 3455 SW Veterans Hospital Road, Portland, OR 97239; e-mail: .lasaterk@ohsu.edu

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