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Strategy Submission

Clinical Evaluations Using KSA's:Developing Tools and Strategies


Cindy Grandjean



Assistant Professor


Dr. Mary Paterson & Dr. Teresa Walsh


Catholic University of America-School of Nursing


Competency Categories:

Evidence-Based Practice, Informatics, Patient-Centered Care, Quality Improvement, Safety, Teamwork and Collaboration

Learner Level(s):

Pre-Licensure BSN

Learner Setting(s):

Clinical Setting

Strategy Type:

General Strategy

Learning Objectives:

Uses all of the knowledge, skills, attitudes (KSA’s) published by QSEN as a key template in the basis of a clinical evaluation tool. Hence, the tool is accurate in reflecting the clinical capabilities of each student in an objective, quantitative fashion with a focus on quality and safety in health care. Each competency is described below with the student objects defined.

  1. Provides Patient-Centered Care a. Demonstrate and elicit patient professional and caring values to clients as expressed in the process recordings, and complete health assessment. b. Elicit and communicate with patients, as related to the patient’s needs, values, and preferences. Express these effectively with confidentiality to other members of health care team. c. Complete a comprehensive health history incorporating and appraisal of psychosocial and physiologic issues. d. Assess levels of physical and emotional comfort.
  2. Exhibits Teamwork and Collaboration a. Demonstrate awareness of own strengths and limitations as a team member. b. Functions with assistance and direction as a member of the health care team. c. Initiate requests for help when appropriate to situation. d. Communicate with team members, in professional manner. Communicates in effective verbal and written manner, adapting one’s own style of communication and adapting that style to needs of the team and situation.
  3. Incorporates Evidence-Based Practice a. Demonstrate knowledge of basic scientific methods and processes in basic nursing skills (examples: Infectious Disease prevention, Body Mechanics). b. Base individualized plan of care on patient values, clinical expertise and scientific evidence. c. Read evidence based reports related to area of practice and implement the same effectively. 4. Understands & Applies Quality Improvement Methods a. Describe strategies for learning about the outcomes of care in the setting in which one is engaged in clinical practice. b. Recognize that nursing and other health professions students are parts of systems of care and care processes that affect outcomes for patients and families. c. Recognize that there can be tension between professional autonomy and system functioning in providing quality patient care. d. Recognize that there are different approaches for changing processes of care. 5. Promotes Safety a. Demonstrate effective use of technology and standardized practices that support patient safety and quality (body mechanic skills, infectious disease management, etc.). b. Demonstrate effective use of strategies to reduce risk of harm to self or others. c. Use of appropriate strategies to reduce reliance on memory (such as, forcing functions, checklists). d. Communicate observations or concerns related to hazards and errors to the instructor, members of the health care team, patients, and families.
  4. Understands & Utilizes Informatics a. Explain why information and technology skills are essential for safe patient care. b. Obtain access to the electronic health record. c. Document patient care in an electronic health record. d. Recognize the time, effort, and skill required for computers, databases and other technologies to become reliable and effective tools for patient care.

Strategy Overview:

The Clinical Evaluation tool is outlined in the attachment. Each core competency in the tool has a template or key, which describes the course and learner objectives using a high level of specificity under the umbrella of each clinical course and syllabi. The detailed measures are examples of instances of the common threads in terminology that is utilized in the tool. The keys for each clinical course are based upon level of skill and matriculation outlined in each clinical course year and subject material as stated in the syllabus. The areas of specialization are as follows: Medical Surgical, Psychiatric, Obstetric and Community Health Nursing. Developmental syllabus and clinical goals within each competency is established by literature review and faculty experts, as well as the objectives from The Essentials for Baccalaureate Nursing Education (American Association of College of Nursing, 2008) and the School’s mission. Each student fills out an evaluation at mid-term and at final. The score is PASS/FAIL and continuance in the course and the program is dependent upon passing this clinical aspect with a grade of PASS. The overall strategy is to create a succinct, relevant, objective clinical evaluation tool that is appropriate and pertinent for the student, as well as the clinical faculty and the overall mission of the school, while being founded in the core competencies of QSEN.

Submitted Materials:

Additional Materials:

Evaluation Description:

The clinical evaluation tool was used this summer (2008) in a pilot during a Medical-Surgical Clinical Course. Student evaluations were given and the majority of the feedback was positive, yet the return rate was poor (< 50%). The unanimous feedback from the 4 clinical faculty was all positive. There were no suggestions for improvement. This tool is being implemented this Fall Semester in a Medical-Surgical Clinical Course. At the end of semester, we will again distribute student evaluations and clinical faculty evaluations and at the end of the academic year, we will evaluate the feedback and solidify the tool in the curriculum.
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