Developing Students Clinical Reasoning Skills: A Faculty Guide

Lisa Gonzalez, Ann Nielsen, Kathie Lasater

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background: Safe patient care relies on the ability of nurses to make timely, sound clinical judgments, yet new nurse graduates are underprepared. Nurse educators must take action with teaching to develop students clinical reasoning skills and ultimately their clinical judgment. One first step is to consider strategies that integrate clinical judgment and clinical reasoning skills into nursing curriculum. Method: The literature was reviewed to uncover what is known about teaching strategies that intentionally teach clinical reasoning skills and are focused on the development of students clinical judgment. Results: Although not exhaustive, this guide for faculty discusses first steps when considering integrating clinical reasoning and judgment into nursing curriculum, presents teaching strategies, and provides ideas for implementation within nursing curriculum. Conclusion: Teaching clinical reasoning skills, using a framework, and incorporating teaching strategies such as concept-learning, high-order questioning, and reflection focused on developing clinical reasoning skills may prove useful in developing students clinical judgment. [J Nurs Educ. 2021;60(9):485-493.].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)485-493
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nursing Education
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Education


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