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June 22, 2016 | NLN Member Update: Debriefing

NLN Member Update June 2016
header XIX, Issue Number 12

June 22, 2016
bevphoto Dear %%Informal%%,

Last June, the NLN issued “Debriefing Across the Curriculum.” This Vision Statement, written in collaboration with INACSL (International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning), contends that debriefing has the potential to transform nursing education. What a powerful statement that is! We define debriefing as a “critical conversation to reframe the context of a situation to clarify perspectives and assumptions, both subjectively and objectively,” and we caution that the process must be grounded in evidence.

As we like to say here at the NLN, good debriefing doesn’t just happen. Today I am pleased to report that the NLN is responding to that challenge with two workshops scheduled for this summer and fall. These professional development intensive learning experiences will help faculty use theory/evidence-based debriefing. Each workshop is based on a different theory-based method developed by the presenters, who are experts in the field. Each workshop will take place at the NLN headquarters in Washington, DC.

On August 19, Dr. Mary Fey will introduce the “Debriefing with Good Judgment” method. Presented in collaboration with the Center for Medical Simulation at Harvard (CMS), where Mary is a research fellow, this workshop uses a blended learning model. The eight-hour intensive, interactive, in-person workshop follows two hours of online study.

What characterizes this method of debriefing? It is important to note that it incorporates an advocacy-inquiry questioning technique wherein learners are treated as thinkers, not just doers. Mary is co-author of the Standard of Best Practice for Simulation: Standard VI, The Debriefing Process and Standard IX, Simulation Design. She has completed both qualitative and quantitative studies on debriefing and has provided faculty development to interprofessional groups of simulation educators. Mary previously worked at the League on our exciting new product, Accelerating to Practice (A2P), which will be introduced in September at the 2016 Summit. We are thrilled that she is bringing her many talents back to the NLN as faculty for this important workshop.

Dr. Kristina Thomas Dreifuerst will be presenting the second workshop, October 28-29. In Debriefing for Meaningful Learning, faculty use Socratic reasoning to guide students to reflect in, on, and beyond the specific clinical experience. This method has been adopted by schools of nursing and interdisciplinary programs across this country, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Kristina, an NLN Jonas Scholar for excellence in nursing education research and a fellow in the NLN Academy for Nursing Education, is assistant professor in the Indiana University School of Nursing.

Even if you heard Kris speak on debriefing for the Debra Spunt Lecture at the 2014 NLN Education Summit, I recommend that you revisit her remarkable presentation. It will give you a good sense of the overall value of debriefing as a means of developing reflective practitioners and help you understand its importance as a powerful method for teaching and learning.

Only 50 seats are available for each of these workshops. As I said at the start, good debriefing doesn't just happen. You must develop skills in this area, and we offer two distinct ways to help you do so. It’s a good idea to register today.

Before I close, colleagues, a word about Orlando. We will be visiting this wonderful city September 21-23 for the NLN Education Summit 2016. Orlando has served as the host city for NLN Summits in the past, and we always have a wonderful time. We love the climate, the beauty of the place, and the opportunities the area offers for recreation and family fun. This year – and forever more – Orlando Strong will have special resonance. We will remember the massacre that took place there early Sunday morning of June 12 and the senseless and tragic loss of so many young and hopeful lives. We know the city is still in mourning, as is the entire country. We offer our thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families.

When President Obama visited Orlando to meet with grieving families, he also met with law enforcement officials and medical personnel. The trauma surgeons and nurses on call that night at the Orlando Regional Medical Center, and the many who responded to the emergency, saved many lives by doing so well what they were educated to do. Going forward, the nurses of Orlando will have much to do as they work with victims and their families, helping them heal their bodies and their spirits. This will be a long and difficult process – our hearts are with them.

Although not instantaneous and unpredicted, another long-term problem is facing nurses in Florida (and many other areas as well). That is the Zika virus, which as of now is placing hundreds of pregnant women at risk for delivering babies with devastating birth defects. Nurses will be called upon to offer education about disease prevention, diagnostic testing, and health care for infants. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has an excellent webpage with current information and resources. I wish it were not so, but this is another area that calls on nurses to respond with intelligence and caring to a potentially emerging problem, a reminder that nursing requires lifelong learning and a spirit of inquiry. I am so proud of our beloved profession.


Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN
Chief Executive Officer

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