DEFINING PASS/FAIL Nursing Student Clinical Behaviors Phase I: Moving Toward a Culture of Safety

RESEARCH. ABSTRACT Achieving safe patient care underlies all of clinical nursing education. Nurse educators are professionally, legally, and ethically expected to anticipate safety risks for patients and prevent students from causing harm to patients in the clinical arena. When a student's behavior or behaviors pose a threat to patient safety, that student may be subject to a failing grade in the clinical nursing course. However, determining what student behaviors will result in failure in a clinical nursing course is challenging for even the most experienced nurse educators. Moving from a culture of blame to a culture of safety is also challenging. The authors developed a multiphase project to facilitate that move. Phase 1, the focus of this article, began with a qualitative study. Focus groups of part-time and ranked faculty in baccalaureate nursing programs were conducted. The goal was to begin to identify faculty perspectives regarding nursing student behaviors that result in failure in a clinical course. One major theme (context and patterns) and five subthemes (safety, thinking, ethics, communication, and standards) with clarifiers emerged from this study. Plans for the next four phases of the multiphased project are presented. Key Words Clinical Grading - Clinical Competence - Clinical Evaluation Tool - Clinical Course Failure - Culture of Safety - Nursing Students.

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