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Faculty Bio
Nicole Christensen
PT, PhD
I am currently an Associate Professor and Co-Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy. I earned my B.S. in Physical Therapy from UCSF, and my Master of Applied Science in Manipulative Physiotherapy from the University of South Australia. I also completed my PhD at the University of South Australia. I have practiced in the area of musculoskeletal physical therapy for over 20 years, and have served as part-time or full-time faculty at the entry-level since 1994. I also teach at the post-professional level, currently the clinical reasoning and mentoring content for the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Orthopedic Residency and Fellowship Programs, as well as at other neurological and pediatric residency programs.
Teaching Interest
Clinical reasoning,
Mentoring
Professional Entry-Level Education of Physical Therapists,
Residency and Fellowship Education of Physical Therapists,
Qualitative research.
Courses Taught
Since 2006 I have taught in the SMU DPT program. The courses I coordinate and teach include:
Patient Client Management: Musculoskeletal I, II, and III
and
Case Studies I, II, and IV.
Peer Reviewed Publications
Publications and Scholarly Activities:

Book editor:

Higgs J, Jones M, Loftus S, Christensen N.
Clinical Reasoning in the Health Professions, 3rd ed.
Amsterdam: Elsevier-Butterworth-Heinemann; 2008.

Authored, Peer-Reviewed/Edited Book Chapters/Monographs:

Christensen N, Black L, Jensen G. Physiotherapy clinical placements and learning to reason. In: Higgs J, Sheehan D, Baldry-Currens J, Letts W, Jensen G. Realising Exemplary Practice-Based Education. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers, 2013:135-142.

Christensen N, Nordstrom T. Facilitating the teaching and learning of clinical reasoning. In: Jensen G, Mostrom E, Shepard K. Handbook of Teaching for Physical Therapists, 3rd ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier-Butterworth-Heinemann; 2013:183-199.

Christensen N, Jones M, Edwards I. Clinical reasoning and Evidence-based practice. Orthopaedic Section Independent Study Course ISC 21.2, Current Concepts of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy, 3rd Edition. La Crosse, WI.: Orthopaedic Section, APTA, Inc.; 2011.

Bithell C, Bowles W, Christensen N. Issues in design and management of fieldwork education. In: McAllister L, Paterson M, Higgs J, Bithell C (eds.): Innovations in Allied Health Fieldwork Education: A Critical Appraisal. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers; 2010:61-74.



Christensen N, Jones M, Edwards I, Higgs J. Helping physiotherapy students develop clinical reasoning capability. In: Higgs J, Jones M, Loftus S, Christensen N (eds.): Clinical Reasoning in the Health Professions, 3rd ed. Amsterdam: Elsevier-Butterworth-Heinemann; 2008:389-396.

Christensen N, Jones M, Higgs J, Edwards I. The development of clinical reasoning capability. In: Higgs J, Jones M, Loftus S, Christensen N (eds.): Clinical Reasoning in the Health Professions, 3rd ed. Amsterdam:. Elsevier-Butterworth-Heinemann; 2008:101-110.

Christensen N, Jones MA. Clinical Reasoning and Evidence-based Practice. Home Study Course 16.2: Current Concepts of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy. La Crosse, WI: Orthopaedic Section, APTA, Inc.; 2006.

Christensen N, Jones M, Edwards I. Clinical reasoning in the diagnosis and management of spinal pain. In: Boyling JD, Jull GA (eds.): Grieve’s Modern Manual Therapy: The vertebral column, 3rd ed. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone; 2004:391-404.

Christensen, N, Jones, MA, Carr J. Clinical Reasoning in Orthopaedic Manual Therapy. In: Grant, R. (Ed.): Physical Therapy of the Cervical and Thoracic Spine, 3rd ed. New York, NY: Churchill Livingstone; 2002: 85-104.

Jones, MA, Christensen, N, Carr J. Clinical Reasoning in Orthopaedic Manual Therapy. In: Grant R (Ed): Physical Therapy of the Cervical and Thoracic Spine, 2nd ed. New York, NY: Churchill Livingstone; 1994: 89-108.

Abstract

Christensen N. Student physical therapists’ understanding and learning of clinical reasoning. [Abstract]. Physiother. 2011; 97, Supplement S1. Abstract retrieved from http://www.abstractstosubmit.com/wpt2011/abstracts/main.php?do=YTo0OntzOjU6Im1vZHVsIjtzOjU6InByaW50IjtzOjQ6InZpZXciO3M6NToiYmxhbmMiO3M6NDoidHlwZSI7czo4OiJhYnN0cmFjdCI7czo4OiJhYnN0cmFjdCI7aTozMTA1O30=&

Christensen N. Development of clinical reasoning capability in student physical therapists. Doctor of Philosophy Thesis. University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia; 2009. Available at
http://arrow.unisa.edu.au:8080/vital/access/manager/Repository/unisa:40761

Peer Reviewed Professional Presentations

Christensen N, Black L, Jensen G. Clinical reasoning: Explicit strategies for making the invisible visible. Presentation at the Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association. San Diego, CA. Presented January 23, 2013 (2 hours).

Christensen N. Student Physical Therapists’ Understanding and Learning of Clinical Reasoning. Platform Presentation, World Physical Therapy 2011, World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) Conference, Amsterdam, Netherlands; 2011.

Nordstrom T, Christensen N. Integrating Clinical Reasoning and Ethical Reasoning in Physical Therapist Entry-Level Education. Presentation at the Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association. Las Vegas, NV. Presented February 12, 2009 (3 hours).

Grants & Fellowships
Honors and Awards:

Awarded Ruth Grant Prize
Awarded to a student and physiotherapist who has distinguished him or herself in their dedication and application to research in physiotherapy. Recognizes achievements in research grants, publications, presentations, and scholarly activities during their candidature.
School of Health Sciences, University of South Australia
December 2009

Awarded Faculty Non-research Publication Award
For the publication: Christensen N, Jones M, Edwards I, Higgs J (2008)
Helping physiotherapy students develop clinical reasoning capability.
In: Higgs J, Jones M, Loftus S, Christensen N (eds.): Clinical Reasoning in
the Health Professions, 3rd ed. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
California Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association
October 2009

Awarded University President’s Scholarship
(Funding for 3 years of PhD study for international students in order to facilitate international collaboration in research with University of South Australia in the future)
University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia
July 2002

Awarded Fellowship Status
American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists
February, 1997
Professional and Community Service and Professional Memberships
Member:
American Physical Therapy Association, Orthopaedic and Education Sections
American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists

Contact Info

Name
Nicole Christensen
PT, PhD
Title
Associate Professor and Co-Chair
Department
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Email

Faculty Profile

Nicole Christensen
Nicole
Christensen
PT, PhD
Associate Professor and Co-Chair
Doctor of Physical Therapy
nchristensen@samuelmerritt.edu
510-869-6511
I am currently an Associate Professor and Co-Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy. I earned my B.S. in Physical Therapy from UCSF, and my Master of Applied Science in Manipulative Physiotherapy from the University of South Australia. I also completed my PhD at the University of South Australia. I have practiced in the area of musculoskeletal physical therapy for over 20 years, and have served as part-time or full-time faculty at the entry-level since 1994. I also teach at the post-professional level, currently the clinical reasoning and mentoring content for the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Orthopedic Residency and Fellowship Programs, as well as at other neurological and pediatric residency programs.
Clinical reasoning,
Mentoring
Professional Entry-Level Education of Physical Therapists,
Residency and Fellowship Education of Physical Therapists,
Qualitative research.
Since 2006 I have taught in the SMU DPT program. The courses I coordinate and teach include:
Patient Client Management: Musculoskeletal I, II, and III
and
Case Studies I, II, and IV.
Publications and Scholarly Activities:

Book editor:

Higgs J, Jones M, Loftus S, Christensen N.
Clinical Reasoning in the Health Professions, 3rd ed.
Amsterdam: Elsevier-Butterworth-Heinemann; 2008.

Authored, Peer-Reviewed/Edited Book Chapters/Monographs:

Christensen N, Black L, Jensen G. Physiotherapy clinical placements and learning to reason. In: Higgs J, Sheehan D, Baldry-Currens J, Letts W, Jensen G. Realising Exemplary Practice-Based Education. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers, 2013:135-142.

Christensen N, Nordstrom T. Facilitating the teaching and learning of clinical reasoning. In: Jensen G, Mostrom E, Shepard K. Handbook of Teaching for Physical Therapists, 3rd ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier-Butterworth-Heinemann; 2013:183-199.

Christensen N, Jones M, Edwards I. Clinical reasoning and Evidence-based practice. Orthopaedic Section Independent Study Course ISC 21.2, Current Concepts of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy, 3rd Edition. La Crosse, WI.: Orthopaedic Section, APTA, Inc.; 2011.

Bithell C, Bowles W, Christensen N. Issues in design and management of fieldwork education. In: McAllister L, Paterson M, Higgs J, Bithell C (eds.): Innovations in Allied Health Fieldwork Education: A Critical Appraisal. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers; 2010:61-74.



Christensen N, Jones M, Edwards I, Higgs J. Helping physiotherapy students develop clinical reasoning capability. In: Higgs J, Jones M, Loftus S, Christensen N (eds.): Clinical Reasoning in the Health Professions, 3rd ed. Amsterdam: Elsevier-Butterworth-Heinemann; 2008:389-396.

Christensen N, Jones M, Higgs J, Edwards I. The development of clinical reasoning capability. In: Higgs J, Jones M, Loftus S, Christensen N (eds.): Clinical Reasoning in the Health Professions, 3rd ed. Amsterdam:. Elsevier-Butterworth-Heinemann; 2008:101-110.

Christensen N, Jones MA. Clinical Reasoning and Evidence-based Practice. Home Study Course 16.2: Current Concepts of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy. La Crosse, WI: Orthopaedic Section, APTA, Inc.; 2006.

Christensen N, Jones M, Edwards I. Clinical reasoning in the diagnosis and management of spinal pain. In: Boyling JD, Jull GA (eds.): Grieve’s Modern Manual Therapy: The vertebral column, 3rd ed. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone; 2004:391-404.

Christensen, N, Jones, MA, Carr J. Clinical Reasoning in Orthopaedic Manual Therapy. In: Grant, R. (Ed.): Physical Therapy of the Cervical and Thoracic Spine, 3rd ed. New York, NY: Churchill Livingstone; 2002: 85-104.

Jones, MA, Christensen, N, Carr J. Clinical Reasoning in Orthopaedic Manual Therapy. In: Grant R (Ed): Physical Therapy of the Cervical and Thoracic Spine, 2nd ed. New York, NY: Churchill Livingstone; 1994: 89-108.

Abstract

Christensen N. Student physical therapists’ understanding and learning of clinical reasoning. [Abstract]. Physiother. 2011; 97, Supplement S1. Abstract retrieved from http://www.abstractstosubmit.com/wpt2011/abstracts/main.php?do=YTo0OntzOjU6Im1vZHVsIjtzOjU6InByaW50IjtzOjQ6InZpZXciO3M6NToiYmxhbmMiO3M6NDoidHlwZSI7czo4OiJhYnN0cmFjdCI7czo4OiJhYnN0cmFjdCI7aTozMTA1O30=&

Christensen N. Development of clinical reasoning capability in student physical therapists. Doctor of Philosophy Thesis. University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia; 2009. Available at
http://arrow.unisa.edu.au:8080/vital/access/manager/Repository/unisa:40761

Peer Reviewed Professional Presentations

Christensen N, Black L, Jensen G. Clinical reasoning: Explicit strategies for making the invisible visible. Presentation at the Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association. San Diego, CA. Presented January 23, 2013 (2 hours).

Christensen N. Student Physical Therapists’ Understanding and Learning of Clinical Reasoning. Platform Presentation, World Physical Therapy 2011, World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) Conference, Amsterdam, Netherlands; 2011.

Nordstrom T, Christensen N. Integrating Clinical Reasoning and Ethical Reasoning in Physical Therapist Entry-Level Education. Presentation at the Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association. Las Vegas, NV. Presented February 12, 2009 (3 hours).

Honors and Awards:

Awarded Ruth Grant Prize
Awarded to a student and physiotherapist who has distinguished him or herself in their dedication and application to research in physiotherapy. Recognizes achievements in research grants, publications, presentations, and scholarly activities during their candidature.
School of Health Sciences, University of South Australia
December 2009

Awarded Faculty Non-research Publication Award
For the publication: Christensen N, Jones M, Edwards I, Higgs J (2008)
Helping physiotherapy students develop clinical reasoning capability.
In: Higgs J, Jones M, Loftus S, Christensen N (eds.): Clinical Reasoning in
the Health Professions, 3rd ed. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
California Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association
October 2009

Awarded University President’s Scholarship
(Funding for 3 years of PhD study for international students in order to facilitate international collaboration in research with University of South Australia in the future)
University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia
July 2002

Awarded Fellowship Status
American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists
February, 1997
Member:
American Physical Therapy Association, Orthopaedic and Education Sections
American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists

History

Member for
7 years 11 months