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Developing Students' Clinical Reasoning Skills: A Faculty Guide

Gonzalez, Lisa; Nielsen, Ann; Lasater, Kathie


Lisa Gonzalez

Ann Nielsen

Kathie Lasater


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.

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.

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.

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.


Gonzalez, L., Nielsen, A., & Lasater, K. (2021). Developing Students' Clinical Reasoning Skills: A Faculty Guide. Journal of Nursing Education, 60(9), 485-493.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Sep 1, 2021
Publication Date 2021-09
Deposit Date Nov 8, 2021
Journal Journal of Nursing Education
Print ISSN 0148-4834
Electronic ISSN 1938-2421
Publisher Slack
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 60
Issue 9
Pages 485-493
Public URL