Case Studies & NCLEX®

Expertly crafted case studies for active learning, emphasizing clinical judgment for Next Gen NCLEX®.

Prepare your students for real-world practice.

Case studies remain the most effective learning tool for teaching practice-based professions because they contextualize theoretical content, allowing students to apply their knowledge to the bedside.

Clinical Reasoning 1-2-3

An introduction for new students, 3 case studies present a different approach to the same scenario.

Skinny Reasoning

Brief case studies introduce new students to the concepts that will recur throughout their program.

Fundamental Reasoning

Build upon Skinny Reasoning by applying the sciences of pharmacology, F&E, and nursing process.

Rapid Reasoning

Build upon Skinny & Fundamental Reasoning by incorporating the KeithRN model of clinical judgment.

Unfolding Reasoning

For the advanced student, build upon the Rapid Reasoning scenario with an “unfolding” evaluation.

Clinical Dilemmas

Integrate reasoning with ethical decision-making and its relevance to nursing practice.

How to PRACTICE the MOST Important Skill Your Students Must Develop

  • Thinking like a nurse is the most important skill that students must develop. But just like any skill taught, it also needs to be PRACTICED.
  • Case studies remain one of the most effective tools to teach a practice-based profession because it contextualizes abstract textbook content to the bedside and should be the foundation of active learning in the classroom.
  • Depending on the level of your students, choose the case study format that will engage them with relevant active learning to help them think like a nurse and better prepare them for real-world practice!

How to Level Clinical Reasoning Across Your Curriculum

  • Start with SKINNY Reasoning, then Clinical Reasoning 1-2-3 for short case studies to use in class or clinical post-conference
  • Clinical Dilemmas are brief and address incivility and the moral, ethical, and dilemmas of nursing practice.
  • FUNDAMENTAL Reasoning is a longer synthesis level best suited for fundamental students that bring essential content altogether with an emphasis on the sciences and nursing process.
  • RAPID REASONING is best suited for BASIC med/surg students and has an initial scenario, and my practice-based model of clinical reasoning questions to practice nurse thinking!
  • UNFOLDING Reasoning is for ADVANCED students that contain the essence of RAPID Reasoning, but then UNFOLDS with a change of status. Ideal for simulation!

Most educators struggle to engage students and get them to be willing partners in the learning process. These case studies are unique because they emphasize the nurse thinking skill of clinical reasoning using my practice based model derived from Dr. Chris Tanner and Dr. Patricia Benner’s work on clinical judgment and clinical reasoning.

But like Mikey in the old Life cereal commercials, students like it! Here’s what one student had to say…

“I LOVED the way your case study was taught and structured. It was incredibly helpful to look at it from a real life scenario and made it much easier to remember and think critically about what we were learning.”
–Monica F., SN

Educators also like them…

“Your clinical reasoning case studies help students to apply information and look at the big picture. I had so much fun teaching using this approach and I didn’t see anyone nodding off in the back of the class!”
–Janet Miller, MA, RN

As a nurse educator who remains current in clinical practice, I developed a practical and sequential model that helps students clinically reason, understand and apply essential content where it matters most…to the bedside of patient care! The scenarios are derived from my lens of current practice that capture the essence of the most common themes seen in clinical practice and make powerful examplars for conceptual curriculum.

Each case study comes complete with:

  • Blank student version (PDF doc.)
  • Fully developed answer key supported by the literature (PDF doc.)

How to Prepare Students for NextGen NCLEX®

Clinical judgment is the outcome of both critical thought and clinical reasoning.

The following steps are essential to developing the deep level of thinking required for licensure and practice:

Step 1.

Eliminate information overload by only teaching what’s essential.

Step 2.

Ensure students gain a deep understanding of what’s most important so they can apply the knowledge to the clinical setting.

Step 3.

Make learning active with case studies that contextualize what you teach.

Step 4.

Integrate NGN questions into your curriculum to make it tangible and practical.

Start with my free handout “7 Questions to Develop Clinical Judgment.” Sign up on the home page.