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Thank you for publishing the article A Mock Trail Approach: Nursing Competency Program in your November/December 2007 issue. What a great concept! As a nurse educator, I am always striving to become more evidence-based and innovative in my practice. In response to this article, I implemented a mock trial competency program at my hospital in April of this year.


A total of 100 nurses, paramedics, and nursing technicians completed the mock trial program in 2-hour sessions offered on two separate days. Each participant was assigned to the jury, defense, or plaintiff. The case revolved around the negligent care of a patient in the midst of alcohol withdrawal who was restrained with a Posey jacket and consequently hung himself from the side rails.


At the end of the activity, all participants reported that they learned a large amount of information in a short period of time, had fun, and verbalized an interest in repeating this activity in the future. I also observed several positive educational benefits, including stimulation of critical thinking and teamwork; the importance of proper documentation, working within the nursing scope of practice, and following hospital policy and procedure; the concept of negligence and the court process; and an understanding of the standard of care for restraints and alcohol withdrawal. I would highly recommend this activity to all nurse educators as it is a great, innovative method to engage staff in the learning process.


Once again, thank you for publishing this article. I enjoy reading every issue because it provides a lot of important evidence-based information that I can incorporate into my everyday practice.




Shawna Patrick, MS, RN


Nursing Education Facilitator


Aspen Valley Hospital