Stacey Hobbick Headshot
Stacey Hobbick | Assistant Professor

Next-Generation Education


In the dynamic realm of healthcare education, integrating Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) into the “Ambulatory Nursing Care” course signifies a monumental shift. This journey began with an AI-aided outline, crafting a curriculum enriched with aligned objectives, comprehensive modules, and an extensive textbook. Intricately designed components, including key terms, case studies, and reflective questions, were aimed to foster critical thinking and real-world application. A distinctive innovation was the AI-simulated telephone triage, an immersive assignment where students interact with an AI ‘patient’. This simulation was more than practice; it was a deep dive into the unpredictable nature of patient care, encouraging students to embody empathy, adaptability, and critical thinking. These interactions refined their communication and decision-making skills in a controlled yet dynamic environment. This initiative highlighted AI’s transformative potential in education. It showcased AI’s role not as a mere tool but as an enabler – enhancing the learning experience, fostering deep understanding, and preparing students for the complexities of healthcare. Creating “Ambulatory Nursing Care” was not just about employing technology; it was about pioneering a new approach in nursing education. This course stands as a testament to the innovative possibilities of AI in fostering an interactive, empathetic, and effective learning environment, preparing students to excel in a rapidly evolving healthcare landscape.

In constructing the “Ambulatory Nursing Care” course, my ambition was to transcend traditional educational models by harnessing the capabilities of Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI). This journey was not just about integrating new technology; it was about reimagining the entire learning process to create a more dynamic, interactive, and effective educational experience.

The process of developing the “Ambulatory Nursing Care” course was an intricate dance of simultaneous textbook and course creation, ensuring an alignment between the two. This synergistic approach was vital for several reasons.

Firstly, it ensured that the theoretical underpinnings presented in the textbook were seamlessly translated into practical applications within the course modules. This direct correlation between theory and practice supports deeper understanding and retention of knowledge among students.

Secondly, such alignment between course content and the textbook material allowed for a more streamlined and unified teaching strategy, where students could reference the textbook knowing the material was fully integrated with the course’s learning objectives.

Role of Generative AI in Curriculum Development

Generative AI was pivotal from the onset, aiding in the development of a comprehensive course. It suggested the most pertinent topics and methods. This helped in crafting a course outline that was not only contemporary but also predictive of future needs and changes in ambulatory nursing care.
The course and the accompanying textbook were developed in tandem, with each chapter of the textbook designed to complement and deepen the learning objectives of the corresponding course module. Generative AI was instrumental in this process.

Figure 1: The textbook created in collaboration with Generative AI
Figure 1: The textbook created in collaboration with Generative AI

Generative AI contributed significantly to the depth of the content. It provided a wealth of information, case studies, and scenarios that were tailored to the specific topics of each module and chapter. This content was academically rigorous and rich with the nuances of real-world nursing practice.

AI-Simulated Scenarios and Student Interaction

The AI’s role in simulating patient interactions was a highlight of the course. Students engaged in telephone triage with an AI patient. Students often expressed that the realism of the AI patient interactions was striking. The generative AI’s ability to simulate complex patient behaviors and scenarios was particularly noted. “Strangely good at acting as the patient,” one student remarked, highlighting the sophisticated nature of the AI interactions, which went beyond their expectations for a simulated experience. This realism forced students to apply their knowledge adaptively and empathetically, mirroring real-life nursing scenarios.

Figure 2: Image of triage discussion with a generative AI-created patient
Figure 2: Image of triage discussion with a generative AI-created patient

Generative AI also provided dynamic feedback to students, analyzing their responses and adapting the difficulty and focus of follow-up questions accordingly. This created a tailored learning experience, with each student receiving personalized guidance and suggestions. The immediacy and specificity of the feedback enhanced the learning process, allowing students to understand and rectify mistakes in real-time.

Student Perceptions and Feedback

Students reported a heightened sense of engagement and a more profound learning experience through the AI-driven components of the course. The interactive nature of the AI simulations made the learning process more immersive and effective. The novelty and sophistication of interacting with an AI ‘patient’ added an element of curiosity and motivation to master the skills being taught.

Students expressed amazement and appreciation for the AI’s role in their education. The sentiment that ChatGPT was “strangely good at acting as the patient” was reflective of a broader recognition of AI’s potential as a learning tool. This perception shift is indicative of the growing acceptance and expectation of AI’s role in education, not just as a novelty but as a fundamental component of modern learning environments.

Students’ reactions and the success of the AI simulations underscored the effectiveness of this innovative approach, marking a significant advancement in the field of nursing education. This course serves as a model for future curriculum development, demonstrating the potential of aligning and integrating educational resources for maximum impact.

In conclusion, the creation and implementation of the “Ambulatory Nursing Care” course with the assistance of generative AI represented a significant leap forward in nursing education. The challenges of developing such a course were met with innovative solutions, and the outcomes have reshaped perceptions of what is possible in healthcare education.

More to explore