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How Nurse Educators Can Utilize Nursing Student Strengths to Prepare Them for Success

Ginelle Testa | Aug 29, 2023
Ginelle Testa | Aug 29, 2023

One size doesn’t actually fit all in the realm of nursing education. Nursing student strengths are varied; the key lies in leveraging these for academic excellence and success in the clinical setting. If you've ever wondered about the potential of strategies like the power of collaborative learning in nursing or immersive virtual reality, read on!

We gathered each of these strategies from a study titled “Strategies for sustaining and enhancing nursing students’ engagement in academic and clinical settings.” 

Collaborative strategies

1. Mentorship programs

A mentoring relationship can provide students with guidance, emotional support, and a safe space to express concerns or clarify doubts. By pairing senior students or practicing nurses with juniors, the learning process becomes more individualized and strength-focused. Preceptors are also incredibly important in the clinical setting! Bramble et al. discovered in their study that mentorship could increase students’ academic engagement and success in nursing students.

2. Faculty-student interaction

The relationship between educators and students is at the heart of the learning experience. Regular interactions, personalized feedback sessions, and open-door policies facilitate a deeper understanding of individual student strengths. Through these interactions, educators can offer bespoke guidance, ensuring that each student's learning pathway is optimized.

3. Tackling case studies in a group

Real-world scenarios and case studies can be complex. When approached as a group, students can pool their strengths. Some might be good at diagnostics, some at patient communication, while others might excel at procedural tasks. Together, they can provide holistic care solutions in these simulated scenarios and gain experience working as a team. 

The authors of the study found “there is a great body of evidence, which supports TBL [Team-Based-Learning], as collaborative teaching and learning strategy, for sustaining and enhancing students’ engagement.”

Technology-based strategies

1. Immersive virtual reality (VR)

With the rise of VR, students can now gain first-hand experience without stepping into an actual clinical environment. This is especially useful for those who thrive in visual and experiential learning environments. Through VR, they can practice clinical judgment skills, preparing them for both the Next Generation NCLEX and clinical settings. 

UbiSim is an immersive virtual reality platform built just for nursing students and nurses. 

2. Response systems (clickers)

These allow real-time feedback during lectures. For students who are more interactive and prefer immediate feedback, clickers can be a great option. They can answer questions, participate in polls, and actively learn. The authors of the study found that students who used clickers reported a greater level of motivation, were more comfortable in the classroom, and expressed a higher level of participation

3. Asynchronous discussion boards

Not every student feels comfortable participating in real-time discussions. Asynchronous boards provide an avenue for those who need time to reflect, research, and then articulate their views. This ensures that even introverted learners have a platform to showcase their strengths.


A shift is happening in nursing education – one that values the individual strengths of every student. Through a blend of collaborative strategies and innovative technological tools, educators can guide students to reach their utmost potential. As we look ahead, the vision is clear: a future where every nursing student is empowered, equipped, and prepared to make a meaningful difference in the healthcare world.

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