Posts by jeffreymatzke

Nursing helping students understand politics

One of the topics covered in the nursing management class is politics in nursing. In the past the class was lectured on the topic and then had to identify a bill and write a letter to their representative. Students constantly would write to the wrong representative when the assignment was turned in.

So I decided to shorten the lecture and have the students pair up and use 6o minutes of the class time to participate in a class activity to ensure their success on the assignment. This works best in an interactive classroom, but can be done in a traditional classroom using smart phones or laptop computers. The students are shown how to find legislative pages online to identify who their representatives are and identify bills currently being acted on. From there they have to identify who their representatives are at the state and federal level. Typically in a class of 30 students maybe one student already knows this information. The students can ask for help during this phase. From there the students have to look up bills that affect health care and identify who they would write to (correct house and correct level state or federal).

Once they have this information they are free to leave and complete the assignment of writing a letter to a representative. With including this activity the letters the students turn in for grading have greatly improved. The students do a much better job of matching the correct legislation to the correct legislator and who is in their voting district.

I am thinking of making one more change to this process. A last check could be a ticket to get out of class where they have to show me the legislation and who they are going to write to. This would be one last chance to verify their understanding, make corrections and reinforce teaching

Getting Students to use Services on Campus

Teaching in the last semester students are here on campus, I encourage the students to use career services. When I presented the information in class I had zero students visit the center. The next step was to have someone from career services visit the class which resulted in the same outcome. So the next step was to have the class go to career service to see first hand what they could do to help them find or prepare themselves for the job market.

By doing this it made the students get up and move, participate in the learning and learn exactly where they need to go for the help. Feedback from the students was that they enjoyed going to career services. Even though many of them have been on campus for two or more years over half of them had no idea where career services was located. Better yet, students from my class started using the services they offered to find a job or prepare for an interview.

In a little tighter market students need to show their best side when applying and interviewing. In the end some of the students ended up getting a job because of the help they received at career services. It has been a positive experience for all involved.


Part of class lecture for a nursing management class covers the topic of interviewing. The book does a good job of listing questions students my get during their interviews. However to better prepare the students for this process we have implemented a couple of interactive strategies to better prepare the students for six questions they may be asked.

First in their management class students are broken down into small groups and asked to answer a question and report back to the class how they would answer the question. Along with this they need to give different strategies on how to answer the question and what to avoid while answering the question.

The questions they respond to are:

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. What are some of your weaknesses and what is your plan to improve in these areas.
  3. Share with me what some of your strengths are and how they will impact your performance.

A follow-up to this is in the last clinical students need to complete and develop a portfolio. In the portfolio there are three topics students need to journal on. The topics are:

  1. Tell me about a conflict situation you were involved in at work or clinical, how you resolved the conflict and what you learned from the experience.
  2. Tell me about a patient experience where you had a positive impact on the patient experience (quality of care).
  3. Tell me about a critical incident where you had to intervene that had a positive impact on a patient outcome (patient safety).

This gives the student actual practice preparing for an interview and developing answers to some difficult questions.

Jeff Matzke