Teaching Innovations Using Systems Thinking to Guide Fieldwork Projects in RN-to-BSN Education

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Background: A critical need exists to improve quality and safety within RN-to-BSN education through innovative teaching strategies. RN-to-BSN students are poised to improve patient outcomes through system-level awareness by use of scholarly fieldwork projects within practice settings. The purpose of this scholarship of teaching project was to use an adapted version of the Systems Awareness Model to develop and categorize RN-to-BSN students’ learning experiences and capstone-type fieldwork projects guided by systems thinking. Faculty members of the Catalysts for Change Community led this project.

Methods: A modified Delphi technique using multiple iterations to reach consensus by faculty experts was used in the design of this scholarship of teaching project. The philosophical underpinning guiding this project was collaborative scholarship. The seven steps of the System Awareness Model adapted for leadership and management were used to guide faculty championing quality and safety of innovative teaching strategies in face-to-face, hybrid, or online teaching-learning environments.

Results: Faculty described examples of evidence-based practice (EBP), change, and practice projects including ideas, titles, and descriptions in alignment with Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) competencies and with newly adopted American Association of Colleges of Nursing Education Essentials. A grading rubric is provided for evaluating fieldwork student project outcomes.

Conclusions: The teaching strategies and fieldwork projects described in this paper reinforce the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) RN-to-BSN White Paper and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) Teaching Standards. Suggestions for future research are offered.



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