Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ed.D. in Education

First Advisor

Whitney T. Webb

Second Advisor

Sharon D. McElwain

Third Advisor

Ty C. McNamee


University of Mississippi

Relational Format



Nurses play a pivotal role in the healthcare world. They play a role in many settings, caring for patients with chronic issues to patients in life threatening situations. These settings call for nurses to be able to analyze patient situations and correctly intervene. This skill is clinical judgment. However, Kavanagh and Swzeda (2018) have shown that new graduate nurses do not demonstrate this skill, potentially causing patient harm. Findings such as this one have led to a reformation of the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). The revamped exam called the Next Generation NCLEX (NGN) will focus on exam takers’ clinical judgment. However, nurse educators are concerned about students’ ability to pass the NGN, particularly since NCLEX-RN pass rates have consistently dropped over the last five years (National Council of State Boards of Nursing, n.d.-c.).

This assessment aims to explore the presence of clinical judgment in an accelerated bachelor of nursing (ABSN) program in a Mississippi school of nursing. Clinical judgment must be built in the nursing school curriculum to better patient outcomes and to assist students in passing the NGN. This project seeks to assess the written curriculum (e.g., syllabi, module outcomes, etc.) for evidence of clinical judgment. After this, program faculty will be interviewed to assess where clinical judgment is incorporated that may or may not be reflected in the written curriculum. These aspects of assessment will assist in giving a more complete picture of clinical judgment in the curriculum.

Finally, my leadership in my role in this changing, challenging time in nursing education will be discussed. Many opportunities are now available to show strong leadership. Being a scholarly, positive, servant leader is my aim. Servant leadership allows for the encouragement and development of others as I humbly lead the way for opportunities.



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