Deborah Sims & Kate Stimpson

1105 – Transitioning from an old curriculum to a new curriculum: Integrating the clinical reasoning cycle and ‘fit for purpose’ avatars.

The purpose of this presentation is to share a project which commenced in 2016 in year two of a Bachelor of Nursing (BN) programme. A new curriculum gave staff the opportunity to acknowledge what had been done before, as well as look to the future. The course was designed to assist students to integrate simulated learning activities, the Clinical Reasoning Cycle (CRC) (Levett-Jones et al 2010) and clinical components of the curriculum using ‘fit for purpose’ avatars. This presentation will discuss the challenges, benefits to date and explain how several projects came together to support student learning.

In 2015 a new undergraduate nursing curriculum was introduced, this gave staff the opportunity to develop an integrated approach to linking the theoretical and practice components of the curriculum. Staff teaching in the new level six course were given the opportunity to redesign the previous course. Staff acknowledged what worked well in the previous curriculum and then looked to contemporary educational practices to inform student learning. Two main educational approaches were identified to underpin the new course:

  1. To enhance the use of technology
  2. To strengthen students’ opportunity to integrate clinical reasoning in the theoretical and practice components.

The introduction of ‘fit for purpose’ avatars reflecting bicultural and multicultural families/whanau and introduction of the CRC has attempted to create an integrated approach. The avatars form a platform for learning, linking eLearning, tutorials and simulation labs. The CRC is integrated into students’ portfolio work undertaken while out on an eight week practicum.

The team are in the second year of the new course and plan to further develop the avatars. As technology enhancements have become more accessible to all staff and students, staff throughout the BN are now utilising the avatar “family/whanau” and Clinical Reasoning Cycle to assist students to develop critical thinking skills.

Key words: Clinical Reasoning Cycle; avatars; course design; critical thinking.