Using unfolding case scenarios to promote clinical reasoning for nurse practitioner students

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2 Scopus citations


This article describes how an unfolding case study can be used to promote the development of clinical reasoning through students' self-reported perceptions, although at the same time facilitating collaboration among providers from various specialties. An unfolding case (evolving case) provides sequential information about a patient's illness trajectory as they experience the illness and related symptomology. An unfolding case study was implemented during a college skills laboratory immersion experience for 33 nurse practitioner (NP) students who were in their final year of the NP program. Students were invited per email to complete a confidential REDCap survey after the case presentation and discussion. Twenty-three students completed the survey. More than half of the students (52%) stated the review of the unfolding case offered "significant learning value"and 78% rated the unfolding case as being "very to extremely"helpful in creating opportunities for critical thinking and engagement in clinical reasoning. Implementing unfolding case studies in NP student program curricula promotes critical thinking, clinical reasoning, and allows opportunities to engage in interprofessional collaboration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-62
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 7 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 the Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.


  • Clinical reasoning
  • critical thinking
  • nurse practitioner
  • student
  • unfolding case

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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