Research shows that most new graduate nurses do not possess clinical judgment skills needed for safe clinical practice because faculty tend to teach too much content without application activities to practice and develop clinical judgment.1,2 As a result, patient outcomes can be adversely impacted, leading to patient complications and even death.
Like any other nursing skill, clinical judgment must be repeatedly practiced. Research is showing that using the right type of case studies can better prepare students for real-world practice because they:
- Provide repeated practice of clinical judgment skills.
- Connect classroom theory to practice.
- Immerse students in the complexity of clinical realities.3
Some case studies are inferior to teach students because they focus on knowledge acquisition and use multiple choice (or guess!) questions that don’t promote developing clinical judgment skills.