Teaching Systems Thinking for Advanced Family Nursing Practice: A Theory-Based Tool

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Systems thinking is essential for advanced family nursing practice, yet this skill is complex and not innate. The Family Nursing Assessment and Intervention Map (FN-AIM) was developed to support student development of systems thinking competencies for Family Systems Nursing practice (see Marigold Family Case Study). The FN-AIM is a pedagogical tool grounded in a family systems framework for nursing with a focus on core family processes as a foundation for interventions. The FN-AIM was implemented as an educational tool to support student skill development as part of a graduate family nursing course in the United States. Through a self-assessment of competence in family nursing practice, 30 students demonstrated an enhanced ability to articulate the distinction between family as context and family as system approaches to family nursing after using the FN-AIM mapping approach. The FN-AIM may be a useful strategy for supporting systems thinking in preparation for clinical skills development in graduate nursing students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-14
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Family Nursing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020


  • Family Systems Nursing
  • education
  • pedagogy
  • systems thinking

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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