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J Nurs Educ. 2002 May;41(5):215-21.

Clinical evaluation in advanced practice nursing education: using standardized patients in Health Assessment.

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  • 1Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.


Clinical education is critically important because competency in practice ultimately will determine the future of advanced practice nursing. Skills taught in Health Assessment, the first in a series of clinical courses, exposed students to tools that form the basis on which other competencies are built. The availability of standardized patients, people who participate in enacting a simulated but seemingly "real life" clinical encounter in a realistic clinical setting for the benefit of student learning and/or evaluation, made this instructional development project possible. The underlying assumption of this project was that clinical advanced practice nursing student education is enhanced by using an authentic clinical environment, known as a simulation center, with standardized patients and by using one or more evaluation techniques with multiple evaluators (i.e., peer, self, faculty, standardized patient). The student clinical experience was expected to improve and overall learning to increase by this method. This improvement was reflected at the end-of-course evaluations and in the quality of the final videotaped physical examination, which was superior to previous years. Student and faculty satisfaction with this teaching-learning process exceeded all expectations.

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