Promoting the self-regulation of clinical reasoning skills in nursing students

R. Kuiper, D. Pesut, D. Kautz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


AIM: The purpose of this paper is to describe the research surrounding the theories and models the authors united to describe the essential components of clinical reasoning in nursing practice education. The research was conducted with nursing students in health care settings through the application of teaching and learning strategies with the Self-Regulated Learning Model (SRL) and the Outcome-Present-State-Test (OPT) Model of Reflective Clinical Reasoning. Standardized nursing languages provided the content and clinical vocabulary for the clinical reasoning task.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This descriptive study described the application of the OPT model of clinical reasoning, use of nursing language content, and reflective journals based on the SRL model with 66 undergraduate nursing students over an 8 month period of time. The study tested the idea that self-regulation of clinical reasoning skills can be developed using self-regulation theory and the OPT model.

RESULTS: This research supports a framework for effective teaching and learning methods to promote and document learner progress in mastering clinical reasoning skills. Self-regulated Learning strategies coupled with the OPT model suggest benefits of self-observation and self-monitoring during clinical reasoning activities, and pinpoints where guidance is needed for the development of cognitive and metacognitive awareness.

RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSIONS: Thinking and reasoning about the complexities of patient care needs requires attention to the content, processes and outcomes that make a nursing care difference. These principles and concepts are valuable to clinical decision making for nurses globally as they deal with local, regional, national and international health care issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-85
Number of pages10
JournalThe open nursing journal
StatePublished - Oct 2 2009


  • clinical reasoning
  • metacognition.
  • Nursing education
  • reflective thinking
  • self-regulated learning
  • standardized nursing language


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