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What the pandemic taught us about preparation for practice

For nurse educators, selecting the right teaching materials for a rapidly changing field and classroom can sometimes feel like guesswork.

This year, on the heels of a global pandemic, one foundational mainstay has been reaffirmed and reinforced as a staple of nursing education — a strong foundation of nursing fundamentals. That makes now the perfect time to ensure your fundamentals coursework is properly designed for today’s fundamentals students who will be walking onto tomorrow’s front line.

Reinforcing the foundation of future front lines

Increased work responsibilities and complexities in today’s healthcare systems have already heightened the demand for newly graduating nurses to enter the field ready to provide safe and competent patient care steeped in solid clinical judgment. Unfortunately, there may not always be time for extensive on-the-job training.

This long-standing need for a strong foundational head start was only reinforced by the pandemic. One indication was the implementation of fundamental-reinforcing preceptor shifts during surge staffing, which helped ensure that nurses returning from periods of absence were prepared to practice — essentially a refresher course in fundamentals.

This illustrates that in preparing for tomorrow’s uncertainties, Nursing Fundamentals is indispensable and the most important course an incoming nursing student will take — it’s the course that sets the tone for their entire nursing education. It’s also the course when you, as an educator, should expect your students to start thinking like nurses.

The information and skills students learn in your fundamentals classroom help them understand their patients’ most basic human needs, which serves as a foundation for information they’ll need to succeed as nurses. Your class prepares them to absorb the rest of their training, especially more extensive nursing care knowledge. This includes developing clinical judgment — not only to pass the NCLEX®, but to prepare for real-life practice.

Preparation for practice starts in the classroom

The best way students can prepare for practice and build clinical judgment skills is through innovative, intuitive tools and case studies that help them think critically about patient care. Unfortunately, the pandemic-driven change in remote student learning has made utilizing these tools a challenge for some instructors, which makes tested teaching materials that instructors can trust all the more useful.

With remote classrooms expected to continue as an accepted part of a modern nursing education, nurse educators will need to find and choose trusted tools to help them overcome the virtual learning gap. Educators will also need to keep focusing on clinical judgment to support nursing students’ practice readiness. The fact remains that 66% of practicing nurses believe today’s nurse graduates are less prepared to enter the field than those who graduated five to ten years ago.

Choosing the right tools for today’s nursing students

To close this clinical judgment gap and reach your students where they are, it’s important to provide them with solutions that are fully integrated, comprehensive, innovative, intuitive, and adaptive — all backed by expert, well-known, and respected authors and thought leaders in their fields. Important things to remember when choosing your nursing fundamentals curriculum include:

  • Teach them where you can reach them. Be prepared for every classroom setting and offer your students an integrated digital learning environment that combines learning tools, case studies, virtual simulation, and real-time data.
    Educators Recommend: Lippincott® CoursePoint+ for Fundamentals of Nursing
  • Use virtual simulations for clinical judgment inspiration. Virtual scenarios bring fidelity to the learning experience as students have the opportunity to interact with virtual patients, consult electronic health records, and monitor vitals in a safe and realistic online environment.
    Educators Recommend: vSim® for Nursing in CoursePoint+ for Fundamentals of Nursing
  • Point them to the best point-of-care solutions. With expanded duties and complicated systems in their near future, your students need to familiarize themselves with fast-paced demands now through access to immediate, evidence-based online nursing clinical-decision support.
    Educators Recommend: Lippincott® Advisor in CoursePoint+ for Fundamentals of Nursing
  • Give them trusted resources to develop skill competency. Now more than ever, it’s crucial that the future front line is equipped with expert-authored skill instructions that use evidence-based rationales, videos, and case studies to create tomorrow’s nurses.
    Educators Recommend: Lippincott® Skills for Nursing Education
  • Spark critical thinking about documentation. Electronic Health Record (EHR) training helps students build clinical judgment skills in a simulated EHR environment and gives them a feel for their soon-to-be real-world responsibilities.
    Educators Recommend: Lippincott® DocuCare

With the right tools and support, you can feel confident that your students will master the fundamentals they need, all while developing strong clinical judgment. Visit our Fundamentals of Nursing from Lippincott® Nursing Education page today to select expert materials that Lippincott nurse educators rely on to get the job done.

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