Georgian professor releases Canadian adaptation of innovative nursing book

Lesley MacMaster, a nursing professor at Georgian College, has contributed as adapting author to the Canadian publication of the book Think Like a Nurse: The Caputi Method for Learning Clinical Judgment.

Georgian is launching an Honours Bachelor of Science – Nursing program, independent of a university partner, this September at its Barrie and Owen Sound campuses.

Lesley, who helped develop the curriculum for Georgian’s new four-year degree, said the process raised compelling questions about teaching clinical judgment so she started searching for innovative methods she could use. This ultimately led to a collaboration between her and Dr. Linda Caputi, an American nursing author and consultant, who has been developing ideas on this topic for more than 30 years.

An older white woman with short dark hair holding up a book.
Lesley MacMaster

“I was fortunate to secure a professional development leave to work with Dr. Caputi this past year on adapting her book to the Canadian context,” says Lesley. “The adaptation revises Dr. Caputi’s original content for critically important Canadian content related to nursing regulation, legislation, education, licensure, workforce, nursing practice, language and attitudes.”

One example Lesley cites is changing the thinking competency ‘delegating’ to ‘assigning’ due to the different meanings of these terms in the U.S. versus Canada.

“It was also important to negotiate representation of Canadian perspectives on patient-centred care and safety, dominant themes in contemporary Canadian nursing, while at the same time, maintaining focus on the book’s mandate of teaching clinical judgment skills.”

Lesley noted that the book, which is a student-focused text, is an innovative and effective way to teach clinical judgment as it relates everyday thinking skills to nursing situations, showing students they already know how to think; they just have to learn to apply these same skills to nursing.

“Unlike other well-known models that break thinking into processes or steps, Dr. Caputi’s model drills down further to the explicit thinking competencies in each step of her framework,” says Lesley. “When the individual thinking skills are made explicit, it’s much easier to teach, practise, evaluate and give feedback on a students’ thinking skills.”

Lesley holds a Bachelor of Nursing Science degree from Queen’s University and a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Toronto. She’s been teaching nursing at Georgian since 2003 and enjoys the flexibility of being able to teach in the classroom, laboratory and simulation settings. Her areas of interest include medical-surgical nursing, humanistic nursing theories, pain management, team-based learning, interprofessional education, and clinical judgment. After working hard to help create the curriculum for Georgian’s new nursing degree, she’s looking forward to teaching it.

“This degree has been in the making for as long as I can remember and I’m still pinching myself to make sure this is really happening,” says Lesley. “Students live very complex lives today. This new pathway for nursing education will offer them greater choice and the freedom to learn closer to home if that’s the best option for them. Georgian will now have greater autonomy and flexibility over our program and we’ll be able to adapt and make necessary changes more quickly.”

Lesley and Dr. Caputi recently delivered two webinars about teaching students clinical judgment attended by close to 250 nursing educators from across Canada.

The book can be purchased through or Windy City Publisher.

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