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What do television medical dramas have in common with nursing management and leadership? Everything! Nursing students are attracted to a diverse number of medical shows currently on television and replayed over again on different movie channels. Nursing students are drawn to the drama, excitement, and exposure to diverse emergencies displayed on the small screen. Nursing faculty, too, enjoy some of these shows, but usually for different reasons. By using these innovative shows, faculty members can engage students in indentifying topics such as advance directives/self-determination/life planning; advocacy; assignment, delegation, and supervision; case management; client rights; collaboration with interdisciplinary teams; continuity of care; establishing priorities; and so forth. Faculty first select a medical show that models key elements presented in the management/leadership course or in another course they are teaching. Key topics may be found in the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse blueprint and Quality and Safety Education for Nurses competencies. Blueprint topics and competencies as a point of reference for the individual episodes are distributed to the students before watching the show in the classroom (or in an online course). Once the episode is complete, faculty facilitate the discussion, which relates to how the identified items were presented in the show, the reality of the presentation, how these findings connect to nursing, and implementation within their own practice as nursing students and future nurses. Engaging the students in current relative medical shows with guided discussion brings management and leadership issues and other issues to the forefront and stimulates discussion among the students.


By Linda Smith McQuiston, PhD, MSN, RN, Assistant Professor, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN, (mailto:[email protected]).