All of this leads to higher retention rates, test performance and success in the future workplace.
3 Proven strategies to boost your nursing program outcomes
Dr. Tola Plusnick, Associate Director of the ADN program at Weatherford College in Texas, which successfully adopted a concept-based curriculum and immediately saw results, offers up three proven strategies to bring concepts to the bedside during clinical practice. These strategies will help improve your nursing students” learning outcomes:
1. “Concept Day"
“Concept Day is an activity used in place of traditional clinical practice.
Prior to the designated clinical day, students are given pre-work to read and think about. They should have prior knowledge of the objective and subjective assessment necessary for the concept. Students should also know the diagnosis related to the concept and how to interpret the results.
Pre-conference is led by the students who discuss the concept. Ensure that all students understand the concept and the exemplar. Divide students into pairs or small groups; two to three students per group is ideal for true engagement. Have each group review a set number of patient electronic charts, looking for evidence of the concept. Students have a set amount of time to go through the charts. Then, call them back together and discuss each patient and what the students expect to find when they actually assess the patient.
Each group of students then assesses the patient, looking for evidence of a disruption of the concept. Were the findings what students expected? If so, how; and if they weren't, why? Was the concept truly disrupted?
Apply the nursing process to each patient by developing a priority problem, a goal, interventions with evidence-based rationale, and evaluation criteria.
When the students are finished, debrief the entire experience, focusing on the concept rather than the medical diagnosis.
*Tip: Instructor should visit each patient prior to the group of students entering the patient's room. If the patient is on board, it eases the way for students.
2. Concept observations
Concept observations can enhance the traditional clinical experience. Here's how it works:
Identify a focus concept. Then have students identify examples of this concept they observed during the clinical day. Provide time for students to research the concept more.
Students present the concept, research, their observations of the concept in action, and evaluation of best practices. They talk about what should be done, how it was observed, and the ramifications of the actions taken. This activity provides meaningful activity during the day without much student down time.
3. Concept analysis
A concept analysis document is used for clinical paperwork; two pages in particular help bring concepts into the clinical program each day. Here are some sample pages: