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Cynthia Fletcher


New graduates’ readiness to provide safe nursing care is a goal of nursing programs and employers. However, new graduate nurses do not always have the skills to make decisions in the clinical setting during a patient situation, which can result in poor patient outcomes. But clinical coaching is a faculty teaching framework that promotes the development of clinical reasoning through the deliberate practice of questioning and feedback after a patient situation. Thus, the purpose of this study was to determine whether participation in a clinical coaching education program improved the coaching behaviors of clinical nurse educators. Knowles’ theory of adult learning was used to design the program. Pre-and post-data were collected using the Clinical Coaching Interactions Inventory: Educator Group Version. A match paired Wilcoxon test was used for analysis of responses of 36 clinical educators from 2 diploma programs. The educators reported a statistical increase in the use of 1 higher-order question—asking students to synthesize clinical knowledge and reasoning. Educators with more experience provided earlier feedback to the students after a patient experience (rs = -.41, p <.01). Future research can repeat this education using a larger sample size and educators from associate and baccalaureate programs in broad geographic areas. Thus, the results of this study may encourage nursing programs to improve teaching preparation of clinical nurse educators in coaching clinical reasoning skills at the bedside, improving practice readiness and quality of nursing care.

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