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Jun 7, 2021, 18:31 PM
<7-min. read> Purdue’s pass rates were excellent. Thus, the program aspired to a different goal: better preparing students for practice.


Dr. Sandra GilpinPurdue University’s nursing program typically has NCLEX pass rates in the high 90s. But Sandra Gilpin, PhD, RN, knows that stat isn’t the only way to measure a nursing program’s success.


So, on a spring afternoon in 2017, when several ATI client account execs stopped by for an impromptu chat, Dr. Gilpin — Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Head for Undergraduate Programs — agreed to give them 15 minutes. After all, she was already familiar with ATI; her faculty regularly referred students to Virtual-ATI NCLEX prep reviews and Comprehensive Live Review courses. Maybe she’d learn about a few other helpful resources.

But as the ATI representative described the benefits of Complete Partnership — gaining access to all of ATI’s solutions — 15 minutes grew to 90. By the end of the discussion, Dr. Gilpin said, “I was sold.”


Dr. Gilpin doesn’t hide her enthusiasm for ATI’s remediation.

“I love it. I love it. I love the adaptability that I can offer remediation to students at whatever level they need,” she says, “but I can also give standardized assignments so that everybody is at the same level.”

Dr. Gilpin’s zeal is a result of comparing ATI’s remediation solutions to her previous experience with another company’s offering. While well-intentioned, that company’s overabundance of remediation resources overwhelmed students. “They were just lost,” Dr. Gilpin said. “They didn’t know what to do. They were looking to us. ‘What do I do? How do I prepare?’”

Today, though, students not only recognize the impact of ATI’s remediation tools but know which ones to use.

“They’ll tell me, ‘I’ve got the [ATI] 3-day Live Review, and I can work through Virtual-ATI,’” she explained. “Now they have enough knowledge to know they can’t do it on their own,” she added. In fact, 80% voluntarily sign up for ATI’s Capstone Comprehensive Review — offered as a 2-credit elective — in their senior semester.

Their enhanced knowledge has positively impacted their confidence.

“By the time they get to the senior level, they’re not as — fearful is not the word, but they’re not as anxious about entering practice,” she said.


Purdue's reasons“The biggest unexpected part of being a Complete Partner has been the involvement by the ATI team,” Dr. Gilpin said. “A lot of times when you buy a product, you get minimal customer service, or you get customer service that only answers by email.” ATI customer service, however, includes phone calls, virtual meetings, and on campus visits. “We’re in constant contact with them,” she said. “No one does that in the industry. ATI is very unique in that.”

That support was especially evident at the beginning of the pandemic, she noted. When the university gave educators a week to pivot to virtual teaching, there were — admittedly — a few panic attacks. But most faculty members immediately dug in to their ATI resources and got in touch with ATI support for help. “A lot of universities, I think, struggled to find things to do,” she said. But her faculty immediately knew where to go for answers: ATI.


Dr. Gilpin is especially appreciative of ATI’s Complete insight reviews. “They let us know where we are in the program and how students are doing,” she said. In the next review, she added, “We’re going to look at data from the last 2 years, focusing on students’ scores and where to set benchmarks.”

The data benefits students, too.

“When they ask how to do better, we talk to them about study skills but also then pull their data from ATI,” she said. Faculty show students where they’ve spent the most time, where they need to spend more time, and ATI tools to supplement classroom work.


For students who are feeling defeated, this information acts as positive reinforcement, Dr. Gilpin said.

“We can pull up their record and show them, ‘Well, 2 semesters ago you were here. Now, you’re here. See how far you’ve come? You are improving. You are getting it.”

Students leave the conversations feeling inspired rather than weighed down.


“One of the hardest things to measure is the growth of critical thinking in the nursing student,” Dr. Gilpin said. To aid in developing this crucial skill, Purdue relies on ATI Skills Modules and tutorials, implementing them early in the curriculum.

“They help the student learn to do basic tasks, but then help them build that critical thinking or clinical judgment as they go through the program,” Dr. Gilpin explained. “We can go from the basic Skills Modules to the Real Life Videos to the simulations, but we also have the advantage of the tutorials with the pre- and postexams.”

She says it’s important to start developing clinical judgment skills early, because most students have little experience asking questions and making decisions. “The way they think is still how mom and dad think,” she said. So, faculty incorporate ATI solutions into lesson plans to encourage students in practicing these skills.

“We’ll ask them, ‘How many of you have ever said the wrong thing?’ Well, everybody has said the wrong thing. We get them to realize that the judgments or decisions they make aren’t always life-threatening, but it only takes one, right?”

Dr. Sandra Gilpin quoteBasically, she added, “ATI Complete allows us to bring the student from minimum critical thinking to clinical judgment by the senior year,” she added “ATI not only enhances the students’ critical thinking and clinical judgment, but it helps them see the bigger picture in nursing, even outside of clinical, when they’re working in those modules.”


The pandemic put certain ATI solutions in the spotlight for Purdue.

“If Zoom has done anything, it has really shown a spotlight on incivility in the classroom,” she explained. She described a video call that morning where students’ poor behavior was on full display. One student was dressed inappropriately, popping in and out of her refrigerator, having side conversations, laughing, and not paying attention. Another was blowing huge gum bubbles.

Dr. Gilpin says she plans to integrate ATI’s Civility Mentor modules into lesson plans to address these issues and reinforce classroom norms.

She said ATI products that teach communication skills — such as Nurse’s Touch — are particularly important. Students are hesitant to interact with clients based on their lack of experience. She described a common scenario:

Student: “Do I have to knock on the client’s door?”

Dr. Gilpin: “Yes, you have to wake her up.”

Student: “But she’s sleeping.”

Dr. Gilpin: “Well, the doctor’s at the desk, and he wants to know her blood pressure. You want to tell him that he’ll have to wait because she’s sleeping?”

“That’s where they are,” Dr. Gilpin explained. “They’re 18, and most have never done anything like that. They’ve rarely seen a naked adult or given a bath to someone or had a conversation. They don’t know how to have a conversation,” she added.

The result of these experiences has been the implementation of ATI’s communication modules in the freshman and sophomore years with a greater emphasis during the junior year when students take their mental health course.

She’s also scheduled faculty training sessions on EHR Tutor, HealthAssess, and Engage Fundamentals, ATI’s newest solution. “I think faculty will see that Engage Fundamentals can really be better than having students just read a chapter in the book and do the workbook for the lab. I think Engage Fundamentals will make students more confident in clinical.”


Dr. Sandra Gilpin quote“Becoming a Complete partner wasn’t an easy sell to my administration,” she explained. “I presented it as, yes, it’s more expensive than what we were using. However, what we are getting is worth the value.”

She pointed out how students were already paying for ATI’s 3-day Live Review and Virtual-ATI, and by becoming a Complete Partner, those would all be included. Plus, the program would receive multiple added benefits, such as being able to individualize a 3-day Live Review to a cohort and the other advantages described previously.

“I pushed for it because it not only supported students, but it offered faculty support and educational opportunities on how to implement it and how to get students going with it,” she added.


In Fall 2020, after 3 years as a Complete Partner, Purdue renewed its contract.

“We continue because I think, overall, we’ve seen students who are better prepared to enter practice,” Dr. Gilpin explained.

“Our end-of-semester surveys indicate that students are meeting the outcomes more efficiently, and understanding, and being able to carry that understanding from one semester to the next,” she added. Even more important, though, has been the feedback from providers who hire Purdue students. 

“Our practice partners constantly say our graduates are ready to go to work,” Dr. Gilpin added. 

“Honestly, we can’t imagine having the program without the Complete Partnership.”

Details on Purdue’s favorite ATI productsSimulation helps students practice

• VIRTUAL ATI. This 12-week NCLEX-prep review gives participants a 1-on-1 virtual ATI coach who provides content assessments, individualized study plans, post-review remediation resources, and a “green light” for NCLEX readiness.

• COMPREHENSIVE LIVE REVIEW. An all-inclusive, live session covers essential nursing content aligned with the NCLEX blueprint. Test-taking strategies, critical-thinking exercises, and Q&A practice deliver substantially higher NCLEX pass rates compared to the national average.

• SKILLS MODULES. This assessment-driven tutorial includes 30 modules covering 180+ skills with how-to videos on nursing skills, practice challenges, evidence-based research summaries, and more. Students apply critical-thinking skills to patient care before they even enter the lab.

• CIVILITY MENTOR. Simulated scenarios help students build empathy with and advocate for clients as they learn, practice, and apply techniques in effective communication, conflict negotiation, stress management, self-reflection, and more.

• EHR TUTOR. Students experience a realistic charting experience with standard and specialty modules for use in the classroom, simulation, lab, and clinical, with educators providing valuable feedback.

• HEALTHASSESS. Students learn to perform health assessments and build clinical judgment skills in a virtual learning and practice experience through a combination of learning modules and authentic practice simulations, with active EHR documentation.

• ENGAGE FUNDAMENTALS. 40 interactive lessons replace students’ dull textbooks. Engaging modules broken into easy-to-digest segments are interwoven with rich multimedia graphics, videos, and activities, including videos from ATI’s Skills Modules 3.0 and practice with EHR Tutor to help students apply their learning.

• NURSE’S TOUCH. This active-learning tutorial uses real-life scenarios to help students develop knowledge, skills, and attitudes that lead to safe client care, including communicating professionally with clients, clients’ significant others, and members of the healthcare team.