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Inquiring minds want to know. I want to know!


I hate not knowing things. If I don’t know an answer, I feel compelled to find it. This curiosity drove me to learn. It still does. I am also curious about how other people learn, especially how someone learns to be a nurse. When I read Tanner’s article on “thinking like a nurse”, I became curious as to how students develop judgment. This moment propelled my scholarship.


My first step was to develop a database by which I could monitor variables for our students. Lasater Clinical Judgment Rubric (LCJR) scores is one of these variables. I noticed that as students progressed through nursing school, LCJR scores increased significantly. I now use LCJR scores as one of the outcomes I report in accreditation reports.


The next step of my research trajectory was to explore strategies that could improve LCJR scores. I felt simulation was a key piece of clinical judgment development. This led me to my PhD. I developed a theory-based simulation design that included 4 phases: thinking, planning (prebriefing), performing, and debriefing. In linking this new design to a SBL activity, it was noted that LCJR scores were higher in students who used it as compared to those who used a more traditional model, which had limited to no prebriefing activities.


I wondered if this would affect performance. So, the next step on my research path was to examine the relationship between an individual’s clinical nursing judgment development and his or her performance in simulated scenarios. I found that the two were correlated and nearly 50% of performance was related to clinical nursing judgment development.


I was excited but still curious. I wondered if there was a relationship between what I was seeing in simulation and what was actually happening in the clinical environment. So I took another step on the research path and examined the scores students received in simulation and clinical evaluations. There was a statistically significant correlation between the two. Data suggest what happens in simulation does not stay in simulation but rather transfers into the clinical setting. I was even more excited.


Now I have even more ideas on what I can do to improve judgment and performance in students. So research ideas abound and there is a long and broad path ahead of me on my research trajectory.


It is not only important that I know what I know, but more importantly, that I share what I know with others. So as I follow my research path, I have published and presented my findings so others can learn what I have learned. I served on the international task force that wrote the design standard for best practice in simulation. I serve as a reviewer for professional nursing journals so I can keep up on all of the exciting progress we are making in simulation.


After all, inquiring minds want to know what I want to know!

Investigative Simulation Reporter
circa 2014
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