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Enhancing Systems Thinking for Undergraduate Nursing Students Using Friday Night at the ER


Cynthia Thornton Bacon, PhD, RN, CNE; Peggy Trent, DNP, RN; Thomas P. McCoy, PhD, PStat

  1. Journal of Nursing Education. 2018;57(11):687-689

  2. Posted November 5, 2018


BACKGROUND: The complexity of health care systems requires cooperation between system stakeholders, structures, and functions. Nurses need an understanding of systems thinking to work effectively in this complex environment.

METHOD: Nurse educators used the Friday Night at the ER simulation game with undergraduate nursing students to simulate complex problem solving and assess their learning.

RESULTS: Students had significantly higher scores on the Systems Thinking Scale and reported increased self-perceived proficiency with the quality improvement Quality and Safety Education for Nurses competency after participating in the game.

CONCLUSION: Nurse educators should consider incorporating complex problem-solving exercises, such as Friday Night at the ER, into their undergraduate curriculum to challenge and strengthen students' critical and systems thinking. Hospital nurse educators should also consider this intervention to assist practicing nurses in bolstering their critical and systems thinking. <j nurs educ. 2018;57(11):687–689.>j nurs educ. 2018;57(11):687–689.> Read more:


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