Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Nursing and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

Implementation of case studies in undergraduate didactic nursing courses: a qualitative study

Danette K Dutra

Author Affiliations

College of Health and Human Services, Department of Nursing, California State University, Fresno, 2345 East San Ramon Avenue M/S MH25, Fresno, CA 93740-8031, USA

BMC Nursing 2013, 12:15  doi:10.1186/1472-6955-12-15

Published: 4 July 2013

Abstract

Background

The implementation of unfolding scenario-based case studies in the didactic classroom is associated with learner-centered education. The utilization of learner-centered pedagogies, such as case studies, removes the focus from the instructor and instead places it on the student. Learner-centered pedagogies are believed to improve students’ levels of cognition. The purpose of this study was to examine how nurse educators are implementing the pedagogies of case studies in their undergraduate didactic courses. The goal was to examine, document, report, and, ultimately, implement the strategies.

Methods

Purposeful sampling was utilized in this qualitative, multisite-designed study. For each of the four participants, three separate site visits were completed. Observations and post-observational interviews took place at each site visit. Transcribed data from interviews, observations, and course documents were imported into the computer program Nvivo8. Repetitive comparative analysis was utilized to complete the data coding process.

Results

The guiding research question of this study sought to investigate the implementation strategies of case studies in didactic nursing courses. The implementation of case studies by the participants reflected two primary patterns: Formal Implementation (FI) and Informal Implementation (II) of case studies. The FI of case studies was further divided into two subcategories: Formal Implementation of case studies used Inside the Classroom setting (FIIC) and Formal Implementation of cases studies used Outside of the Classroom (FIOC).

Conclusion

Results of this investigation have led to an increased understanding of implementation strategies of unfolding scenario-based case studies in undergraduate nursing didactic courses. Data collected were rich in the description of specific methodologies for utilization of case studies and may serve as a resource for faculty in development of creative strategies to enhance the didactic classroom experience.

Keywords:
Case studies; Critical thinking; Facilitative learning; Learner centered; Nurse educators; Pedagogy; Scenario-based case studies; Unfolding case studies