Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science

Drop Shadow

Problem-Based Learning

Innovative NP Teaching Model

The University of San Diego Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science is in the process of implementing an innovative method of experiential teaching and evaluation throughout the Nurse Practitioner curriculum. The use of Simulation Methodology is common place in Medical Education as well as Prelicensure Nursing education; however, USD SON is one of the few universities across the country that is utilizing this method within the APRN program.

“Problem Based Learning” is now incorporated into the didactic component of each of the clinical management courses. These small group encounters are facilitated by expert Clinical Faculty and involve the use of Standardized Patients presenting with common as well as challenging concerns. The students interact as they would with a patient in the clinical setting to obtain appropriate histories, practice advanced physical exam skills, apply critical thinking to develop a differential diagnosis, and provide the appropriate patient education and follow-up. As well as clinical content, the emphasis of these “Real Patient” encounters includes communication skills and relationship development, critical components of the NP role.

The second innovation utilizing simulation is the ability to evaluate the students’ clinical competency from novice to expert across the curriculum. Previously, student clinical evaluations have been done in the clinical setting which presents challenges related to lack of standardization across settings. This new model allows for a portion of the evaluation to be carried out in the Simulation Lab with the use of highly trained Standardized Patients supporting the fidelity of the clinical encounter. Based on course objectives, these Standardized Patients are trained in specific cases that reflect the knowledge that the students have obtained in their didactic courses, and build upon previous course content. Evaluation rubrics are developed, aligned with the competencies set forth by APRN education and certification organizations, to reflect the knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes essential for Nurse Practitioner role development. These student/standardized patient encounters are videotaped creating opportunities for reflective learning in having the students view their videos following the encounter. Multi-modal methods of teaching and evaluation help to insure that USD SON continues to be a leader in APRN education, and provides our graduates with both formative and evaluative simulation encounters to enhance their educational experience.

A great deal of thought is being put into the development of the Beyster Institute for Nursing Research “Donald and Elizabeth Dickinson Nursing Innovative Simulation Center” to plan for the space required to support simulation methodologies as our APRN program moves forward. A key component in the planning is to ensure the fidelity of the Standardized Patient encounter by creating an environment that mirrors that found in a variety of primary care settings. One of the goals of the new building is to provide both students and faculty with the infrastructure to maximize the potential of this innovative methodology. For more information on the BINR and the Donald and Elizabeth Dickinson Nursing Innovative Simulation Center, click here. (NOTE – this link will go to the magazine).

BINR First Floor
BINR First Floor
The Donald and Elizabeth Dickinson Nursing Innovative Simulation Center