Clinical Judgment: The Bridge Between Education and Practice

Clinical Judgment: The Bridge Between Education and Practice

Clinical judgment is a critical thought process for the safe delivery of nursing care. A panel of nurse leaders from clinical practice will discuss their perceptions of clinical judgment capacity seen in new graduate nurses. They will explore their strengths and opportunities for growth, strategies to enhance clinical judgment skills, and organizational barriers related to the use of clinical judgment skills by new graduate nurses.

Session Objectives
Following this session, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss key terms related to clinical judgment
  • Explore strengths and opportunities for growth related to clinical judgment as nurses transition into practice
  • Discuss the organizational challenges that impact the development of clinical judgment skills in a new graduate nurse
  • Consider successful strategies to enhance a student’s/nurse’s clinical judgment skills in both academic and practice settings.


Jenna Lloyd-Fitzgerald

Jenna Lloyd-Fitzgerald, DNP, APRN-BC, CNL, MSMIT, RN, serves the Chief Nursing information Officer for Centra Health. Her role includes serving nursing to ensure its information technology needs are met. She helped guide the project to replace the healthcare system’s existing electronic health record. She previously served as program director and assistant professor of nursing at the University of Lynchburg. During her time at the University of Lynchburg, she led efforts to transform the nursing program, moving to a digital platform including eBooks, electronic testing, educational electronic health record, and adoption of innovative active-teaching strategies. She serves as a resource to guide organizational leadership on integration of technology. Dr. Lloyd practiced 11 years as a nurse practitioner for Centra Medical Group Urology (CMG). She served as the clinical liaison for ambulatory informatics to develop innovative approaches to address healthcare challenges within interdisciplinary teams. She created and served as inaugural President of the Advanced Practice Provider Committee to ensure advance-practice governance at Centra Health. Her research focused on use of clinical-decision support to improve guideline adherence and use of neural networks to improve patient care. She recently co-authored a publication submitted on DNP-prepared nurses as faculty and leaders. She is a Fellow of Leadership in Academic Nursing Programs. She received the Thomas C. Nelson Excellence in Academic Advising Award from University of Lynchburg (2016). She earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree (2012), a Master of Science with family nurse practitioner certification (2002), and a Master of Science in the management of information technology (2013) from the University of Virginia.

Pam Springer

Pamela Springer, PhD, RN, ANEF, NEA-BC, BC, is Senior Director, Clinical Learning and Student Services, at St. Luke’s Health System. Dr. Springer leads a team of Professional Development Practitioners and staff for the largest Health System in Idaho. Clinical Learning and Student Services ensures staff are prepared to deliver care in a population health-driven environment. The team ensures it has the correct strategic partnerships with schools to have access to the talent needed to ensure it is adding value to the health of the people in the communities it serves, believing that ensuring high-quality learning experiences for students is paramount to the success of the organization.

Sheryl Sommer

Sheryl K. Sommer, PhD, RN, CNE, is the Chief Nursing Officer at ATI. She joined the company after 27 years in nursing education. She holds a PhD in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in curriculum and evaluation. Dr. Sommer is an experienced administrator and leader, having served in several large nursing programs. She also held numerous faculty positions that included teaching in practical, associate, and baccalaureate, as well as graduate nursing programs. Dr. Sommer played an active role in curriculum revisions, development of new programs, and preparation for accreditation. The desire to create a positive future for nursing education drives Dr. Sommer’s passion to help nurse educators develop the necessary skills to effectively prepare future nurses. She has given numerous faculty-development presentations and helps programs create and implement plans to establish quality nurse educators. Dr. Sommer’s passion for education includes developing strategies to promote clinical judgment skills. She engages with educators to help them develop the skills necessary to prepare nurses who are equipped to function in a fast-paced, ever-changing healthcare environment. Her passion is evident in her work, helping faculty develop skills in areas such as active-learning strategies, curriculum, and program evaluation. Dr Sommer enjoys the challenges associated with helping educators develop contemporary curriculums that meet current healthcare needs. She has assisted many educators in the development of both traditional and concept-based curriculums. Dr. Sommer is recognized for her expertise as a nurse educator. She serves as a reviewer for prominent nursing education journals including the “Journal of Nursing Education” and “Teaching and Learning in Nursing.” She makes frequent national and regional presentations, has published numerous articles, and consults with nursing programs across the country.

Kathryn Stuck Boyd

Kathryn Stuck Boyd, MSN, RN-BC, is an Education Nurse Manager at Cleveland Clinic with oversight for enterprise nurse onboarding, competency, and assessments. She holds a Master’s degree in Nursing Education and is a board-certified Nursing Professional Development Specialist. Boyd has hosted multiple national presentations focusing on new graduate nurse preparedness and training of new graduate nurses using Socratic dialogue. She is passionate about bridging academia and practice settings to improve the new graduate nurse transition to practice.