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Download an easy tip sheet to build students' clinical judgment

Sep 30, 2023, 11:07 AM
<6-min. read> The new version of the NCLEX (the Next Gen NCLEX) requires strong clinical judgment. Here's an easy-to-use resource to help.

The 'ABCs of clinical judgment' is a helpful resource for the new (Next Generation) NCLEX

ABCs of clinical judgmentThe launch of the new version of the NCLEX (referred to by many as the Next Generation NCLEX [NGN]) has led to a transformation in nursing education. This transformation requires building students' clinical judgment by connecting didactic instruction with clinical practice.

The use of active learning in this transformation continues to increase as research shows the benefit of this technique in building nursing students’ skills and knowledge.

As noted, the acceleration of that transformation became especially important as instructors prepared students for the launch of the Next Generation NCLEX (NGN). Test-takers began sitting for the new version of the exam on April 1, 2023. The Next Gen NCLEX focuses on assessing students’ clinical judgment, and that means most nurse educators must increase their focus on developing this skill. Having a variety of resources makes the task much more achievable.

To help, ATI’s team of expert nurse educators developed an easy way for faculty to remember how to create this foundational aspect of nursing. Their collaboration resulted in a new document: the “ABCs of clinical judgment.”

The ABCs are spelled out as follows:

A – Achieve active learning and application

B – Build clinical judgment skills

C – Connect the dots to attain practice competence.

Download a PDF of “The ABCs of clinical judgment”

The document identifies specific activities educators can use to prepare students for new version of the NCLEX by teaching clinical judgment in a variety of settings: in the classroom, lab, and clinical.

(Another document you will find helpful: “The ATI guide for clinical judgment.”)

Making the ABCs document even more helpful is the inclusion of lists of specific ATI solutions and modules that align with the suggested activities:

(If your program doesn’t currently have access to some of these resources or you want to learn more about increasing students’ clinical judgment skills, contact ATI for details.)

With these tools, you’ll be able to emphasize the 6 functions of clinical judgment as outlined by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN):

  1. Recognize cues.
  2. Analyze cues.
  3. Prioritize hypotheses.
  4. Generate solutions.
  5. Take action.
  6. Evaluate outcomes.

6 Clinical Judgment Functions
(Having trouble remembering these functions and the most important questions to ask when considering each one? We’ve got another helpful document you can download: 6 clinical judgment functions.) 

Download a PDF of "6 clinical judgment functions" (at right)