An examination of student nurse practitioners' diagnostic reasoning skills

Melanie Rogers, Mary Steinke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


To examine the diagnostic reasoning skills of two nurse practitioner student cohorts.

Nurse practitioners continue to play a pivotal role in health care provision. Diagnostic reasoning is a core skill of advanced practice. A comparative diagnostic reasoning study between two student cohorts was undertaken between 2018 and 2019.

A validated diagnostic reasoning scale was completed by nurse practitioner students in the United Kingdom and the United States of America at the beginning and end of their clinical placements. The study utilized descriptive quantitative statistics from the data submitted by 22 survey respondents from an online survey.

Analysis of the diagnostic reasoning skills suggested there was a difference in the structural memory scores when compared with the beginning of their clinical placements and the final semester of their clinical placements.

Diagnostic reasoning skills are a core skill of advanced practice. As students progress through their training, these skills improve. Despite the statistical difference in diagnostic reasoning scores, caution should be made in determining any larger implications due to the small number of participants in this study. Further study is needed in this area.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13043
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Practice
Issue number2
Early online date28 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022


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