Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Stacy Wahl


This descriptive case study addressed the problem that nursing students at a small community college lacked clinical experiences that promoted identification of their strengths and weaknesses in knowledge and skills expected of nurses. The interest in this individual case and purpose of this study was to understand the clinical learning activities nursing students at this site believed were effective strategies for evaluating their strengths and assessing areas needing improvement in their nursing practice. The theoretical foundation of adult learning formed the basis of this descriptive case study using a survey design to assess the students' perceptions of clinical learning activities that were effective for evaluating their strengths and weaknesses in their nursing practice. Descriptive statistics including frequencies and percentages of responses to a survey were used to summarize data related to the students' preferences for learning based on clinical activities. Key findings indicated that a large percentage of nursing students at the site strongly agreed that high-fidelity simulation was an effective strategy for evaluating strengths and assessing areas needing improvement in their nursing practice. Based on the findings, a curriculum plan with tools to prepare nursing educators to facilitate debriefing to enhance clinical learning activities was developed for the local school of nursing. The results of this study can be used by nursing educators as they integrate active learning and assessment activities, particularly high-fidelity simulation, into nursing education at this site. The findings could contribute to positive social change when nursing educators at the site are empowered to implement and assess components of the curriculum plan to positively impact nursing students' ability to reflect and evaluate their nursing practice resulting in improving their learning and nursing care.