Engaging nursing students and community partners in the development of decision cases

J Nurs Educ. 2010 Jun;49(6):346-50. doi: 10.3928/01484834-20100217-06. Epub 2010 Jun 3.


Decision case method teaching uses open-ended cases to stimulate decision making and critical thinking skills in the classroom. The cases are taken from actual practice experience and are developed in great detail with the goal of engaging learners in the actual dilemma as encountered by the case protagonist. This method has proven effective in preparing students for actual practice in fields such as medicine, nursing, and social work, but one barrier to this pedagogical approach is the lack of available relevant cases. This article describes how senior nursing students partnered with community practitioners to develop cases and subsequently used the cases in teaching activities with their fellow students. Outcomes of the project supported such an approach as a valuable learning assignment and method for improving critical thinking abilities.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Clinical Competence
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Decision Making*
  • Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate / organization & administration*
  • Faculty, Nursing
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Nurse's Role / psychology
  • Nursing Education Research
  • Nursing Staff / psychology*
  • Problem-Based Learning / organization & administration*
  • Program Development
  • Program Evaluation
  • Students, Nursing / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Thinking*