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NurseTim presents...

Teaching the Nursing Process Effectively

Tim Bristol, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF


Question from faculty: What are ways to teach the nursing process effectively?

1. When teaching the nursing process, do it from a clinical perspective. Identify 3-4 case studies that they will see in future courses (med-surg/maternal child/mental health). Use those case studies to demonstrate application of the nursing process , so that in the future they remember what you taught them! In essence, these case studies serve as a vehicle for reminding students about what they learned related to the nursing process. Don't say to yourself "these case studies are too complex, I should not use them to teach the nursing process." This is not what we say in their first clinical. You wouldn't say to the students "I have not taught you about diabetes , so you can't take care of the client in long - term care with diabetes." Instead, you would say to the students, "Even though this is your first clinical, you still need to provide care for this client." When you do this while teaching the nursing process, you really empower your students to take ownership of their learning. See our webinars on 'Flipping the Classroom' and 'NCLEX Across the Curriculum' for more on this strategy.

2. Use tools that are real and will be used again in the curriculum. For instance, many schools are using the 'NurseThink Notes' to help students create habits of critical thinking across the curriculum. When teaching the nursing process, have the students practice using the note-taking system and ask them, "Where is the nursing process in this system?" Going forward, every time they use NurseThink Notes, they are using the same tool used to teach the nursing process.

3. Clinical focus is crucial when teaching the nursing process. Find out what clinical paperwork, brain sheets, and assessment forms are being used by students in clinical. Have these tools in front of the students while you teach the nursing process. This not only builds relevance for students when learning the nursing process, but also gives them the opportunity to revisit learning about the nursing process while in clinical.

There you have it. The goal is to look for opportunities to make the learning real for students while simultaneously finding ways of helping the learner work at a higher cognitive level. We are also implementing ideas that will remind the students in the future of what they learned related to the nursing process.


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