BOAZ, Ala. – Snead State Community College nursing instructors Ashley Smith and Laura Liebner are scheduled to present their Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) project posters Feb. 17-18 at the Nurse Tim Next Gen Learning Conference at Disney Springs in Orlando, Florida.
Smith’s poster is titled, “Improving Therapeutic Communication Skills Through an End-of-Life Simulation.” She said roughly 45 students participated in her project.
“My project was completed with our first semester nursing students this past fall, and they participated in an end-of-life simulation,” Smith explained. “The ones who volunteered to participate in my project completed a survey before and after the simulation. Survey results showed they had improved therapeutic communication skills after participating in the simulation, which are important skills needed when caring for all patients, but especially patients who are dying and their families.
“This experience will hopefully better prepare them to provide end-of-life care once they are practicing nurses,” she said.
Smith, from Albertville, said she chose to conduct an end-of-life simulation because there are not many studies on the subject.
“Also, when I was a nurse, I felt like I was not prepared to care for my first dying patient,” Smith said, “so I thought it would be a great way to allow our students to experience it so hopefully they won’t feel so anxious and stressed like I did in that situation.”
Liebner’s presentation will be on her poster, “Developing Clinical Judgement in the Clinical Setting.” She had a group of seven students participate.
“My project was a quality improvement study aiming to increase clinical judgment of Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) students in the clinical setting,” she said. “I created an evidence- and theoretically-based intervention, which was problem-based clinical paperwork based on Tanner’s Model of Clinical Judgement paired with instructor-guided discussion using prompts from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing Clinical Judgment Measurement Model level 3 cognitive skills.”
Tanner’s Clinical Judgement Model was developed by Christine A. Tanner, Ph.D., RN, and identifies the processes of clinical judgment that reflect the way nurses think in practice. As students learn to think like a nurse, the processes develop from noticing to interpreting, to responding, and then reflecting.
“I evaluated the intervention using a valid and reliable tool, the Lasater Clinical Judgment Rubric, as well as Health Education Systems Incorporated (HESI) standardized exam clinical judgment sub-scores, which both indicated significant progression of clinical judgment from pre-intervention to post-intervention.”
Liebner chose to conduct this particular study because of a “gap in the literature for educational methods for teaching clinical judgement in specifically the clinical setting,” she said.
“Clinical judgment is a hot topic right now, especially because the National Council for State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) has transitioned the licensure exam to the ‘Next Generation’ NCLEX, which is modeled after the NCSBN Clinical Judgment Measurement Model,” Liebner said.
A native of Arab, Liebner has taught clinical studies at Snead State since 2015, and became a full-time member of the faculty in March 2018. She currently teaches three different nursing courses and serves as the Student Success/PASS Coordinator for the nursing program.