Unfolding Cases

Begin This Course


As an educator, you are probably familiar with case studies and simulation technology. Unfolding Cases will help you discover a way of teaching and learning that reveals new information over time. The case may be presented in a day, a week, a term, or across the curriculum. Unfolding Cases offers innovative ways to incorporate this teaching strategy into your learning environment.


  1. Define an unfolding case.
  2. Discuss the rationale for choosing the unfolding case approach.
  3. Differentiate the pedagogical practices that pertain to unfolding cases.
  4. Develop an outline for an unfolding case.
  5. Create a story that serves as the basis for an unfolding case.
  6. Describe various methods to evaluate an unfolding case.

About the Authors

Teri Boese, MSN, RNTeri Boese, MSN, RN is the Director of the Simulation Center and Assistant Professor of nursing at the International University of Nursing and University of Medicine and Health Sciences in St. Kitts, West Indies. She is the co founding president of the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning. Teri was formally an Associate Professor at the University of Iowa where she taught for 27 years, and was co director of the Nursing Clinical Education Center.

Mary L. Cato, MSN, RNMary L. Cato, EdD, RN is an Assistant Professor and lead simulation faculty in the Oregon Health & Science University School of Nursing. Mary has been teaching with simulation for over ten years, and during that time has integrated simulation into all clinical courses in the School of Nursing undergraduate curriculum. Dr. Cato was one of the original SIRC authors, and has worked with the NLN on other projects including the ACES program and the revision of the NLN/Jeffries Simulation Framework  into the NLN/Jeffries Simulation Theory. Her doctoral research focused on anxiety and its effect on learning in simulation.

Jeanne Cleary, MAN, RNJeanne Cleary, MAN, RN is the Director of Simulation at Ridgewater College in Willmar and Hutchinson, MN. She began teaching and using simulation at Ridgewater in 2003 and became the Director in 2006. She has 25 years of critical care nursing experience. Jeanne has been using simulation and unfolding cases in the classroom and simulation labs. She has been involved with several NLN initiatives and pilot studies. She was selected to be a HITS Scholar and was involved in the ACES project as a simulation expert.

Cynthia Reese, PhD, RN, CNECynthia Reese, PhD, RN, CNE is the Associate Dean of Nursing at Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield, Illinois. She has 15 years of teaching experience in associate and baccalaureate degree nursing programs, including 5 years of experience with clinical simulation and research in clinical simulation environments. Specifically, she has developed the Student Perception of Effective Teaching in Simulation, an instrument measuring teaching behaviors in simulation. Most recently, Dr. Reese has served as a simulation expert with the NLN ACES project. Cindy developed the "Millie" unfolding case study that is available on the NLN website.

Last modified: Wednesday, July 15, 2015, 1:23 PM