Color Outside the Lines: Creative Approaches to Develop Clinical Reasoning

Color Outside the Lines: Creative Approaches to Develop Clinical Reasoning

Practice partners identify gaps in students’ ability to transfer clinical knowledge to clinical reasoning. Creating an environment that supports application of knowledge to practice is essential to bridging this gap. This session will focus on identifying strategies and creating activities that support the development of clinical reasoning skills.

Learning Objectives:

  • Explore a variety of learning activities for the clinical setting.
  • Create learning experiences in the clinical setting that support clinical reasoning.
  • Develop a debriefing strategy based on current debriefing models.


Dianna Johnston, DNP, RN, NE-BC, CNE

Dianna Johnston, DNP, RN, NE-BC brings a wealth of experience that spans practice, leadership, healthcare reimbursement, military service, and nursing education. Dr. Johnston is enthusiastically shares her expertise and experience with students, faculty, administrators, and practice partners to graduate the best-prepared nurses. Always seeking new and exciting ways to engage students in their learning, Dr. Johnston has participated in and led many opportunities to advance classroom, lab, and clinical instruction that facilitates critical thinking and clinical reasoning to best prepare pre-licensure students for the workforce. Prior to joining ATI, Dr. Johnston held various roles in nursing education and leadership. She has a passion for identifying and implementing methods that improve student retention and completion, and NCLEX pass rates. Dr. Johnston has worked with several institutions over the past 10 years to increase attrition, completion, and NCLEX pass rates with great success. Dr. Johnston is well versed on curriculum and faculty development. Most recently, she participated at the ground level with the New Mexico Nursing Education Consortium to develop an innovative concept-based curriculum for statewide implementation. Dr. Johnston designed the original concepts of Professional Identity, Individual, and Spirituality for this curriculum. Dr. Johnston presented methods for clinical implementation of this concept-based curriculum to nursing faculty statewide who represent all levels of clinical education experience. Dr. Johnston received her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Pacific Lutheran University, her Master’s Degree in Nursing Administration from Walden University, and her Doctor of Nursing Practice in Nursing Executive Organizational Leadership from the University of New Mexico. She is a decorated wartime veteran who served in the United States Air Force and recipient of numerous teaching awards.

Kelly Simmons, DNP, RN

KELLY SIMMONS, DNP, RN is an Education Consultant with ATI Nursing Education. She served as the Academic Dean/Chief Academic Officer, Program Concentration Director for a PhD program, and Program Director a variety of nursing programs. She earned her DNP degree from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, her MSN degree from Northern Kentucky University, and her BSN degree from the University of Kentucky. Dr. Simmons has developed, taught, and directed both graduate and undergraduate nursing programs. Her areas of clinical expertise include critical care and post-anesthesia recovery. Dr. Simmons is a graduate of Leadership Northern Kentucky (2012), a member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, and the Chair of the Rosedale Green Board of Directors, Covington, KY. Areas of professional interest include nursing administration and program/curriculum development.