Do prelicensure nursing students' backgrounds impact what they notice and interpret about patients?

Kathie Lasater, Kathy Holloway, Samuel Lapkin, Michelle Kelly, Belinda McGrath, Ann Nielsen, Sydnee Stoyles, Nathan F. Dieckmann, Molly Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: Academic educators are challenged to foster the development of clinical judgment in diverse learners. The impact of nursing students' backgrounds on clinical judgment has not previously been studied. Aims: 1. Determine what identifiable background variables influence what students notice and how they interpret what is noticed; 2. Identify some implications for pedagogical approaches that may foster clinical judgment development among diverse learners. Sample: Prelicensure/preregistration students, representing three international English-speaking programs in 3 countries, comprised the sample (N = 532). All were enrolled in the first course in which perioperative content was taught. Data collection: An online learning activity was designed to elicit responses to a simulated case study of an expert nurse role model caring for an older adult patient experiencing delirium several days post-operatively. Data analysis: Dyads of coders did three rounds of coding. Logistic and multinomial logistic regression models used background variables to look for patterns in student responses. Findings: The data strongly suggest that background variables impact clinical judgment, however, not in interpretable patterns. Conclusion: Nurse educators must acknowledge that prelicensure students' backgrounds impact their clinical judgment and assist them to learn to think like nurses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-43
Number of pages7
JournalNurse education today
StatePublished - Jul 2019


  • Clinical judgment
  • Learning activity
  • New graduate nurse
  • Simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Education


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