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, MSN, RN is an Assistant Professor and Simulation Specialist in the Oregon Health & Science University Simulation and Clinical Learning Center. She has been using simulation to teach nursing for more than six years, and has been involved with integrating simulation into multiple courses and curricula. Mary has also participated in many faculty development offerings, including the NLN ACES (Advancing Care Excellence for Seniors) project.

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, October 22, 2014, 2:33 PM