Team-Based Learning in Nursing Fundamentals in an Accelerated Master's Direct-Entry Program

Tuesday, 31 October 2017: 8:20 AM

Kathleen Marie Mullen, DNP, MA
Masters Direct Entry Program, Columbia University School of Nursing, New York City, NY, USA

Nurse educators seek to introduce new and varied teaching and learning strategies to better prepare students to provide nursing care to patients with increasingly complex health conditions in diverse health care environments. Team-based learning (TBL) is a student-centered, active learning method emphasizing collaboration with peers to resolve problems (Hrynchak & Batty, 2012). Emerging as an innovative teaching and learning strategy in nursing education, TBL facilitates critical thinking, and develops skills in peer-to-peer communication and shared decision-making; all attributes essential to proficient nursing practice (Branson, Boss, & Fowler, 2016; Mennenga, 2013). Recently, TBL was integrated into the initial nursing fundamentals course of an accelerated, second degree, master’s level prelicensure direct entry nursing program. The decision to employ TBL as a new instructional strategy hinged on reports of successful class engagement and student advance preparation despite class size (Cheng, Liou, Tsai, & Chang, 2014; Della Ratta, 2015). The focus of the TBL component of the course was application of the nursing process, prioritization of patient-centered care, and collaboration with team members. Desired outcomes also included immersion of students into the mindset of Registered Professional Nurse practice, and improved incorporation of evidence into care planning at the bedside. Unfolding case studies were used throughout the course. Online audience response polling software, learning management system quizzes, textbook publisher assessments, online document storage tools, and simulated electronic medical records were utilized as well. Two successive cohorts of nursing students voluntarily completed the Team-based Learning Student Assessment Instrument (TBL-SAI) a 33-item validated tool (Mennenga, 2012), after the end of the course. Cross-sectional regression analysis was performed to evaluate students’ accountability for advance preparation before TBL activities, preference for traditional lecture versus TBL, and satisfaction with TBL as implemented. Results indicated students felt accountable for preparing before class and before team meetings, believed they retained information longer, and valued the experience of TBL. Improved outcomes of mindset and determining the evidence for practice, assessed through clinical instructor’s comparison of concept maps and other clinical assignments between earlier cohorts of students with those engaged in TBL, were identified. The introduction of TBL was effective at achieving the desired outcomes and will continue to be employed in the nursing fundamentals course.