Date of Award

12-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

First Advisor

Tracy Arnold

Abstract

Clinical decision making and critical thinking are fundamental skills to ensuring the success of undergraduate nursing students. Nursing faculty, and specifically clinical nursing faculty, are responsible for encouraging the development of these types of skills as students work in direct patient care. Traditional methods of clinical evaluation include lengthy case studies, concept mapping, and discussion board participation. While these methods have been in effect for some time, clinical short paper assignments are a fresh, innovative way to challenge students as they refine their critical thinking and clinical decision making abilities. No statistically significant difference was found between the perceived level of clinical decision making before and after the implementation of short written assignments; however, the overall mean score of clinical decision making abilities did increase following the implementation of clinical short papers.

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