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Communication errors are identified by the Joint Commission as the primary root cause of sentinel events across all categories. In addition, improving the effectiveness of communication among healthcare providers is listed as one of the Joint Commission’s 2008 National Patient Safety Goals. Nursing programs are expected to graduate practice-ready nurses who demonstrate quality and safety in patient care, which includes interdisciplinary communication. Through objectively structured clinical assessment simulations, faculty evaluate each nursing student’s ability to perform many aspects of care, including the ability to communicate effectively with physicians via telephone in an emergent situation. This quality improvement project reports the results of a three-year review of undergraduate student nurse performance (n = 285) related to effective clinical communication. Changes in teaching-learning strategies, implementation of a standardized communication tool, and clinical enhancements which resulted in improved student competency, will be presented.


Originally published in the International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship, 5(1), article 40.

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