ATI 2020 Review

The State of Nursing Education




Those words only hint at your inspirational efforts during 2020’s endless challenges. Did you initially doubt you could overcome them? If so, you’ve proven resolute in continuing to bulldoze through your uncertainties.

We’ve heard your stories. (With 300+ nurse educators on staff, we spend hours Zooming with you!) Early on, you mentioned fears and frustrations. Lately, though, you’ve described creative, ingenious solutions.

Your innovative ideas deserve to be shared, and that’s what you’ll find here, along with resources to support your ongoing efforts. We’ve also included stats from a survey last summer that asked about your obstacles, changes, and well-being. Between your stories and our data, it’s obvious that, no matter the circumstances, you always do what’s necessary to foster safe, competent, practice-ready nurses.

We know there’s still work to do — other challenges, such as continuing to pursue diversity and meaningful inclusion within nursing education. But if this crisis has proven anything, it’s shown you won’t be deterred. Ever.

Online Instruction



Fact: There’s no obstacle you can’t overcome. While the nuances
of teaching can be difficult to replicate online, you’ve still felt prepared to tackle the semester head on and find inventive solutions.


of faculty are concerned about readiness for online education.

(Source: ATI survey)


1 of your challenges: “Delivering a quality education experience.”

(Source: ATI survey)

Solution Story:

Bigger Space, Higher Engagement.

“We’ve rented hotel conference rooms to serve as larger classrooms so we can space students out safely. We’ve designated different doors for entering and egress, and PPE is always waiting in each room for students. We also have rigorous sanitary protocols where students clean keyboards and chairs when they arrive and leave. Plus, the hotel does a deep cleaning every day. We have small classes already, so the larger rooms allow us to maintain the same ratio of students to teachers but in a larger, safer space. Students and faculty both have been so appreciative of our efforts to allow face-to-face classes.”

Dr. Patricia Sharpnack, Ursuline College - Pepper Pike, Ohio


Helpful Resources

Top 5 tips for teaching online like a pro

Nurse Educator Handbook: Transitioning to the virtual classroom

11 steps for colossal success in moving to the online classroom

Skill Instruction



An online classroom setting delivers a unique set of challenges.
But, even in the midst of acclimating to new times, you’ve remained positive and continue to put your students’ experience first.


planned to replace clinical with screen-based simulation. 9% planned to replace clinical with more skills training.

(Source: ATI survey)


1 of your challenges: “Skills lab demonstrations, assessments, and clinical experiences.”

(Source: ATI survey)

Solution Story:

Skill Instruction 6 Feet Apart.

“We moved our skills lab to the gym. We call it a ‘Skills-nasium.’ It has worked well for our Boot Camp experience; we brought students from all levels to practice skills prior to returning to clinical. The area has allowed spacing for social distancing and for giving students ample room to learn in small groups.”

Dr. Kathie Williamson, Mt. Carmel - Columbus, Ohio


Helpful Resources

The benefits of the latest simulation-based skills training

Why clinical teaching must start in the classroom

6 tips to teach health assessment in the classroom

Clinical Replacement



You’ve made friends with flexibility. And the webcam. Although clinicals look a bit different these days, your creativity has shone bright as you navigate new ways to engage your students.


of respondents said they will need to replace between ¼ and ¾ of clinical time with simulation.

(Source: ATI survey)


said they’re going to replace clinical with screen-based simulation.

(Source: ATI survey)

Solution Story:

Setting New Standards Through Simulation.

Faculty at Vanderbilt University created virtual clinical simulations for students to remotely instruct educators in the sim lab, allowing the same competency assessments as in clinicals.

An educator said: “Students are amazed we created these things. They’ve had great experiences. It’s been intense and challenging, and they’ve had good teamwork.”

A student said: “I have felt supported [by] all of my instructors. Despite all the craziness in the world, we feel least concerned about our education and trajectory because of [our] incredibly talented faculty and resources.”

(Source: Vanderbilt)


Helpful Resources

How to overcome your fears of clinical replacement

3 lesson plans for using screen-based simulation

How to replace clinical with sim during the COVID-19 crisis




Your students are a top priority. In fact, most of you stated you felt concerned for their well-being. And that speaks volumes about your attentive, caring nature — as a nurse, an educator, and a mentor.


of educators planned to implement presemester communications to reduce potential student anxiety.

(Source: ATI survey)


1 of your challenges: “I really worry that some students are lost, as in ‘not seen,’ when teaching online.”

(Source: ATI survey)

Solution Story:

Checking in, so Students Don’t Check Out.

“[Before the semester,] we established a drive-through for
swag and materials, which eased tensions. We had [virtual] coffee chats with students and faculty over the summer to prepare for fall. And, early in the fall semester, we did daily check-ins via text message to help students feel connected and informed.”

Dr. Kathie Williamson, Mt. Carmel - Columbus, Ohio


Helpful Resources

5 tips when the semester feels like a catastrophe

You can ensure ‘quaranteaching’ isn’t a disaster

Nursing self care during COVID-19 starts with mindfulness

“Thank you! All these ATI modules and resources are saving our butts right now 🙂. It’s been interesting trying to replace all these labs and clinical hours!”

“ATI has been an extremely beneficial learning platform, more so now than ever, which I am extremely grateful for. ATI has really accommodated the learning in a very expeditious manner in order for our program to keep going forward.”

“ATI has been an extremely beneficial learning platform, more so now than ever, which I am extremely grateful for. ATI has really accommodated the learning in a very expeditious manner in order for our program to keep going forward.”

“Thank you ATI for all the help you have provided and continue to provide nursing programs as we wade through this crisis. Our students are moving forward as planned with your help and innovation!

“Thank you for taking time to provide the student orientation. Several reached out to let me know their anxiety was relieved, [due to] the live demonstration. The ATI team has made this transition to online learning smooth.”

A Sneak Peek of Our Upcoming Solutions

2020 presented an educational experience unlike any other. But even before the world turned upside down, we were at work on solutions for 2021 to ease your teaching burden. Below is a preview of what’s ahead.


HealthAssess 2.0

HealthAssess prepares nursing students to perform health assessments and builds their clinical judgment skills in a virtual learning and practice experience. In 2.0, HealthAssess:

  • Becomes tablet-friendly
  • Receives more detailed reporting
  • Adds sample EHR Tutor charts and end-of-module practice tests
  • Adds more simulations, all simplified and focused on single body systems.


This updated resource provides new item types and revised video content to help students prepare for the Next Generation NCLEX (NGN) and its focus on clinical judgment. Item prototypes will include:

  • Extended multiple response
  • Extended drag and drop
  • Cloze/Drop-down
  • Enhanced hot spot
  • Matrix.


All students need to be compliant with site requirements to complete clinical rotations. Ensuring each student has an up-to-date drug screening, background check, and immunization record can be time-consuming. ATI Program Manager provides a central repository of all this information and even allows your program to include faculty records, such as nursing licenses.


The next generation of the Custom Assessment Builder will prepare students for the Next Generation NCLEX (NGN). This enhanced solution will allow faculty to create assessments using NGN-style item types. Plus, it will provide enhancements to the exam-creation experience and analytics.



The 7th review and revision of the ATI TEAS exam — a crucial diagnostic tool of applicants’ abilities for 20+ years — arrives in 2021. To prepare, ATI Nursing is conducting research with experts in nursing education, math, science, reading, and English to ensure the blueprint reflects evolving Common Core State Standards, nursing, and allied health program criteria.


These past months have proven that nothing can impair your passion for teaching. People say it's an unprecedented time. Nurses know, however, that being prepared for the unexpected is simply part of the job.

You've overcome incredible obstacles to prepare future nurses for the challenges ahead. Your dedication and creativity continue to inspire us as your partners.

Thank you.


Sandra Annesi
Vice President,
Post-Graduate Solutions

Jennifer Babcock
Vice President, Brand
Strategy and Marketing

Michael Lynch
Senior Vice President, Sales

Jerry Gorham
Vice President, Research
and Development

Mark Williams-Abrams
Chief Product Officer

Sheryl Sommer
Vice President, Chief
Nursing Officer

Patty Knecht
Vice President,
Integration Services

Lindsey Rinehart
Vice President of Operations


Nancy J. Cichra, BSN, MSN
Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center

Pamela Jeffries, PhD, RN, FAAN, ANEF, FSSH
George Washington University

Suzan Kardong-Edgren, PhD, RN, ANEF, CHSE, FSSH, FAAN
Center for Medical Simulation

Jenna Lloyd, DNP, MSMIT, NP-BC, CNL, RN
Centra Health

Mary (Beth) Mancini, RN, PhD, NE-BC, FAHA, FAAN
University of Texas — Arlington

Mary Jean Osborne, DNP, BSN, MSN
Northampton Community College

Beth Cusatis Phillips, PhD, RN, CNE
Duke University School of Nursing

Joan Rich, DNP, RN, PHN, LSN, FCN
Rasmussen College

Pamela Springer, RN, PhD, ANEF, NEA-BC
St. Luke’s Health System

Christine Szweda, MSM, BSN, RN, CCRN
Cleveland Clinic