You are here

Clinical Instructor Intensive


The Clinical Instructor (CI) Intensive was first offered by the Duke University School of Nursing (DUSON) in 2008 for the purpose of helping our School’s CIs – and CIs from other schools – better understand and effectively implement their roles as teachers in the clinical setting. This one- to two-day interactive conference is offered annually – typically during the summer months – and incorporates formal presentations by experts in teaching, case studies of challenging situations faced by CIs, sharing of policies and practices that exist in various schools and dialogue about role conflicts, communicating with course faculty and expectations of CIs.

Who Is It For?

The Intensive consists of two components, one for novice CIs and one for both novice and experienced individuals.

The component for novice CIs engages participants in a dialogue about making the transition from the role of expert clinician to novice teacher, including what is involved in such a transition and what the expectations of the new role are. This component also helps novice CIs build a foundation related to basic principles of teaching/learning, formative and summative evaluation practices and student/teacher relationships.

The component of the Intensive for both novice and experienced CIs provides an opportunity for participants to discuss challenges that arise while teaching in the clinical setting and how to best understand and manage them. For example, issues related to students who are not prepared, staff members who are not particularly supportive of students, errors, managing one’s time when teaching up to 10 students, conducting effective post-clinical conferences, appropriate learning experiences for students and so on are discussed and dissected.

Specific topics from past CI Intensives include the following:

  • The Many Roles of the Clinical Instructor: Exploring Six Cs
  • Facilitating Learning in the Affective Domain: Who, When & How
  • Effective Debriefing: Individuals & Groups … Lab & Clinical Settings
  • Psychomotor Skills: Expected Level of Performance & Keeping Them in Perspective
  • Helping Students Transition to the Graduate Clinician Role
  • What the Best Clinical Instructors Do: Voices of Students
  • What the Best Clinical Instructors Do: Voices of Clinical Partners
  • Legal Considerations as a Clinical Instructor
  • Managing Multiple Demands of One’s Role … Role Adaptation
  • Conducting Effective Clinical Conferences
  • Linking Classroom, Clinical & Laboratory Experiences
  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Strengthening Clinical Teaching Through Simulation
  • Making Assignments

As a result of discussions related to topics such as these, participants develop a repertoire of strategies to use in their clinical teacher role and a network of colleagues they can contact for support, advice and information.

2016 Clinical Instructor Intensive

The 9th annual Clinical Instructor (CI) Intensive was held on August 6. The event was attended by more than 60 nurse educators from six different states. Attendees learned more about and shared challenges and success strategies related to teaching students in the clinical setting.

The goals of the CI Intensive were to help clinical instructors suggest ways to keep skill performance and task completion in balance with learning goals related to thinking, priority setting, relationship building, interprofessional collaboration, etc.; propose ways CIs can enhance synergy among all participants in the clinical experience – students, clinical staff, themselves – in order to create a positive and collaborative learning environment; discuss the interrelation among personal values, teaching philosophy, student/teacher relationships and one’s actions as a CI; analyze potential sources of stress for CIs and ways to thrive despite such stressors; explore how one’s values influence one’s teaching; and propose ways in which taxonomies can be used to enhance student learning in the clinical setting.

Discussion of these critical topics were led by DUSON’s full-time clinical nurse educators, CIs, professional staff and full-time faculty, many of whom are featured in photos of the conference. Participants engaged in think-pair-share and small group activities, dialogue in sessions was robust and exciting, and individuals commented on how much they learned and how glad they “decided to spend a Saturday this way.”

Interested in attending the 2017 Clinical Instructor Intensive?