Next Gen Tips and Tricks


These resources are made possible through OADN’s ongoing collaboration with NurseThink®, leading the way in Next Gen Teaching and Testing. Learn More.

Need a Next Gen Tip or Trick? You’ll find one here. Be sure to check back for updates!




NGN Tips & Trick 28: CBC: It’s As Easy As 1-2-3
Learn how to engage your students and elevate their learning by teaching conceptually by using these 3 easy steps in your class and program today! (Added April, 2024)



27. An Active Learning Countdown: The Re-Engagement Top 3 (Video 3 of 3):
Learn how to encourage your students to re-engage with their opportunities for growth after they leave your classroom with these 3 easy tips! (Added March, 2024)



26. An Active Learning Countdown: The Engagement Top 3 (Video 2 of 3):
Learn how to encourage your students to pre-engage with their course content prior to showing up to class using these 3 easy tips! (Added February, 2024)



25. An Active Learning Countdown: The Pre-Engagement Top 3 (Video 1 of 3):
Learn how to encourage your students to pre-engage with their course content prior to showing up to class using these 3 easy tips! (Added January 31, 2024)



24: Brain Based Learning Chunking and Hugging:
Have you ever struggled with students and helping them to ‘get it’? Learn new active learning strategies, including Retrieval Practice, to help your students really take their reading and learning to a new level. (Added October 30, 2023)



23. How Do I Promote DEEP Learning with Retrieval Practice?:
Help your students to make a connection between what they are learning in the classroom to what they will be doing as a nurse at the bedside. Learn some brain-based strategies that help your students REALLY learn the information for life so that they can apply it in their future career. (Added November 29, 2023)



22. How Do I Promote DEEP Learning with Effort, Calibration, and Elaboration?:
Learn how to get your students to dive DEEPER into what they are learning. Implement creative strategies to utilize effort, calibration, and elaboration to help your students apply their knowledge and bring their reading to life. (Added September 29, 2023)



21. How Do I Get My Students to Learn?:
Learn how to get your students to learn HOW to learn. Learn ways to deal with student barriers and give students what they actually need to learn. Learn engaging strategies to challenge your students to apply deep learning in your program! (Added July 18, 2023)




20. Case Studies: 3 Ways to Bring Your Students to Clinical in Every Class, Lab, Clinical, and Simulation:
Learn how to bring your students to the bedside in every nursing school experience utilizing case studies to continue building their clinical judgment muscles!. (Added June 18, 2023)




19. Med Math Marathon Part 2: Making Medication Calculations Come Alive!:
Incorporating widgets, images, labels, EHRs, and more to continue to develop your students’ clinical judgment at the bedside. (Added May 15, 2023)




18. Med Math Marathon: 4 Exercises to Build Clinical Judgment Muscle:
Challenge your students to engage with medical calculations every day, week, and class by utilizing these four clinically focused strategies.(Added April 14, 2023)




17. Switch it up! :
Learn to use traditional items to make a class activity that builds Clinical Judgment and Next Gen testing skills. (Added Feb. 28, 2023)


16. Crossing the Bridge – Analysis into Action:
Help your students integrate more analytical thinking into lab activities with these simple strategies. (Added Jan. 31, 2023)


15. What’s the Answer?:
As faculty, we feel the need to answer all of our students’ questions, but is that what is best for their learning? Gain some tips from an expert educator on how to best respond when asked, “But…what’s the answer?” (Added Nov. 29, 2022)


14. Incorporating Clinical Judgment with 3 P’s
It’s difficult to get students to think beyond the test. These suggestions provide a strategy to get students to focus on learning and not the next exam. (Added Oct. 10, 2022)



13. Compare & Contrast
Compare and contrast 4 cases with different presentations: Students can be challenged with not understanding why each patient does not mimic the textbook. This activity allows students to see variations. (Added Sept. 6, 2022).



12. The Pathway to Clinical Judgment
Students do not understand how to apply CJ on the first day of nursing school; it is a process that takes time and LOTS of repetitive practice. This video introduces the pathway of skill obtainment needed to become an Expert in Clinical Judgment. (Added June 23, 2022)



11. Build-a-Client for Test Item Remediation
We know that “creating” is at the top of Bloom’s Taxonomy. This activity allows your students to create a client as a method for exam remediation which will allow for a deep level of understanding material. (Added April 12, 2022)



10. Prioritizing Cards
Print some simple cards that push students to differentiate between various strategies of prioritization. These can be used in all areas of teaching. (Added Mar. 14, 2022).



9. Compare and Contrast Prioritization
Explore these examples and strategies for building clinical judgement through the comparing and contrasting of prioritization scenarios. (Added Feb. 17, 2022).



8. Build-a-Patient
When we look at Bloom’s Taxonomy, “Creating” is found at the top. What does that mean, and how often are our students using that level of understanding? This activity allows students to create while applying clinical judgment and practicing Next Gen items. (Added Jan 14, 2022).



7. Cue Clusters

Cue Clusters allow students to associate information that is related and more deeply analyze cues. By providing cue ‘prompts,’ you can evaluate how your students make connections, strengthening their ability to apply clinical judgment. (Added Nov 2021)



6. Adding CJ to Clinical Paperwork
Clinical is the optimal experience for applying clinical judgment and decision-making, yet often students are excluded from the decisions that are being made. In order to build these skills, students need to consciously and repetitively think through the application of clinical judgment. Here is a suggestion on how to make your clinician paperwork more meaningful in developing thinking. (Added Oct 2021)



5. Add Context!
Layer 4 of the NCSBN CJMM, reinforces the importance of Environmental and Individual Factors in clinical judgment and decision making.  This short video gives you five tips for adding context to your teaching activities to better prepare your students for practice. (Added 9/16/2021)



4. What-if Cue Cards
Curveballs, cue cards, what-if cards, etc., are a great way to stimulate on-the-fly, deeper thinking, clinical judgment decisions in your students,  As students are in the lab or clinical and appear to lack engagement, hand them a What-if Cue Card. This index card has an assessment change, situation, or cue that may or may not require the nurse to act. These cards are easy to make or checkout NurseThink® for Nurse Educators: Lab Coat Notes for Teaching Clinical for purchase.

Here are some examples –

  • Your client’s NG tube was removed yesterday, and now feels nauseated. What will you do next?
  • You are performing a dressing change on an abdominal surgical wound, and there is a foul odor. What will you do next?
  • You perform a CIWA, and the score is 16. What will you do next?
  • Your teenaged client is found smoking in the hospital restroom. The teen says, “please don’t tell my parents that I smoke.” What will you say next?

(Added 8/17/2021)



3. Prioritizing Hypotheses with Unfolding Cases
The development of the ability to identify priorities is challenging for most students.  Unfolding Priorities is a simple activity to incorporate into class. Give students a single ‘snapshot’ view of multiple patients; after discussing the priorities, unfold another layer of information and discuss how the priorities have changed. Know that there is not always a “best” answer but encourage students to discuss and justify their decisions. (Added 7/7/2021)



2. Is this medication SAFE and indicated?  An activity for EHR review. Have your students explore an EHR (using one you’ve developed or used in simulation). Without any prompts, they must analyze the cues in the EHR and determine if a particular medication is (1) safe and (2) indicated at this time. Ask the student to make the decision based on the information in the chart and mark the medication as “Give,” “Question,” or “Hold.” Request rationale for their decision.

Alternate delivery methods:

  1. Place students in pairs or small groups, have them explore the EHR in lab/sim, and report back to the larger group.
  2. Provide the entire class, the same list of medications, and have them vote.
  3. Allow students access to the EHR the day before class/lab/clinical and ask them to report out at the beginning of the day.
  4. Provide access to the EHR when class begins and give them 5 minutes to decide. [This supports the CJMM Layer 4 – Environmental Factor of Time Pressure] (Added 6/7/2021)



1. Building Cue Recognition by listing Actual and Potential Cues. Give your students a short scenario and have them list 10 cues that they might see indicating an actual or potential problem. (Added 4/27/2021)