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Dr. Desiree Hensel Again Featured for Leading Best Practice on Teaching Clinical Judgement
November 06, 2020


Academics | Faculty Accomplishments

School of Nursing Dean Dr. Desiree Hensel is again featured as one of the leading academic experts on integrating clinical judgment skill development, including critical thinking and decision making in nursing education today.

Her newest publication, “A Cohesive Plan for Virtual Clinical Education to Teach Clinical Judgement Using Unfolding Cases,” is featured in the November/December issue of Nurse Educator, a scholarly peer-reviewed journal that provides practical information and research to faculty and administrators in schools of nursing. The new article provides a case study of the School’s success this year moving clinical practice to a virtual environment, all while creating new opportunities for nursing students to apply their knowledge, think critically, and use evidence to make good clinical decisions, the cornerstones of clinical judgment.

Dr. Hensel was also recently featured on the Lippincott Nursing Center web episode, Integrating Clinical Judgement Skills in Nursing Curriculum and Improving Entry-Level Practices, where she spoke to the need in nursing education to close the clinical judgment gap among entry-level nurses. According to the National Council of State Board of Nursing, roughly 65 percent of all entry-level nurse errors are related to poor clinical decision making.

“The problem is that healthcare is becoming increasingly complex, and nurses today that are training students in a clinical setting are not in a position where they can let them make mistakes, and learn from those mistakes because it’s a patient safety issue,” she says. “What we find then is that our students aren’t ever in a position where they are allowed to make the decision, and when they have to do it, they aren’t prepared. We know we have to find better ways to prepare them so they can go into the field and be good decision-makers starting day one.”

Face-to-face and virtual simulation is just one teaching practice the Curry Nursing program implements to teach critical thinking and clinical judgment. With simulated patient care scenarios, Curry nursing students gain valuable experience in a risk-free environment enabling them to develop critical clinical reasoning skills and confidence.

“By integrating clinical judgment practice in our curriculum, we are graduating students that think more broadly, and we’re making sure our entry-level nurses are prepared.”

See Dr. Hensel's full interview on clinical judgment below.