nicole-christensen

Nicole Christensen

Department Chair Professor Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Master of Applied Science (MAppSc), Bachelor of Science (BS), Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Programs and Courses Taught

Doctor of Physical Therapy

PT 702, 703, 704: Capstone course series

About Me

I am a Professor and Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy.  I have taught physical therapy at Samuel Merritt University since 2006. My area of expertise and scholarship is the facilitation of clinical reasoning development in learners at all professional levels. This passion has extended to the mentoring of others, focused on effective teaching and facilitation of learning of clinical reasoning in both academic and clinical education settings--clinical reasoning characterized by collaboration, person centeredness, and a commitment to intentional critical reflection. I have been a practicing physical therapist in the musculoskeletal setting for over 25 years, taught at the entry level since 1994 and was involved in post-professional physical therapy residency and fellowship education from 2000-2018.  

Education

I earned my B.A. in Biological Sciences at San Jose State University, with a Minor in Humanities. I then began my education in physical therapy at the University of California San Francisco where I earned a B.S and Certificate. I travelled to Adelaide, South Australia to earn my Master of Applied Science in  Physiotherapy which included a residency in manual therapy at the University of South Australia. I earned a PhD in Health Sciences at the University of South Australia, with a research focus on clinical reasoning and education. Most recently I completed the American Physical Therapy Association's Educational Leadership Institute (ELI) Fellowship Program, and became an ELI Fellow in 2014.

Teaching Interests

Clinical reasoning,  clinical mentoring, narrative reasoning and collaborative person-centered care, faculty development related to effective teaching and facilitation of learning of clinical reasoning in academic and clinical education contexts, and the integration of simulation/standardized patients and authentic patient care into the academic education setting.

Scholarly Interests

My scholarship interests include educational research related to the facilitation of clinical reasoning development in learners at all professional levels. I am also involved in work focused on understanding the role of movement in physical therapists' clinical reasoning, and determining criteria for entry-level performance of clinical reasoning in physical therapist students.

Publications

Selected publications:

Huhn K, Gilliland S, Black L, Christensen N, Wainwright S. Clinical reasoning: A concept analysis. Phys Ther; published online 28 November 2018: https://doi.org/10.1093/ptj/pzy148

Christensen N, Jones MA, Rivett D. Strategies to facilitate clinical reasoning development. In: Jones M, Rivett D (eds) Clinical Reasoning in Musculoskeletal Practice. 2nd ed, Edinburgh, UK: Elsevier; 2019: 562-582.

Christensen N, Jensen G. Developing clinical reasoning capability. In: Higgs J, Jensen G, Loftus S, Christensen N. Clinical Reasoning in the Health Professions, 4th ed., Edinburgh, UK: Elsevier; 2019: 427-433.

Christensen N, Loftus S, Gwin T. Peer learning to develop clinical reasoning skills. In: Higgs J, Jensen G, Loftus S, Christensen N. Clinical Reasoning in the Health Professions, 4th ed., Edinburgh, UK: Elsevier; 2019: 491-497.

Christensen N, Villanueva C, Grieve S. Learning reasoning using simulation. In: Higgs J, Jensen G, Loftus S, Christensen N. Clinical Reasoning in the Health Professions, 4th ed., Edinburgh, UK: Elsevier; 2019: 455-464.

Huggett K, Christensen N, Jensen G, Maio A. Learning to research clinical reasoning. In: Higgs J, Jensen G, Loftus S, Christensen N. Clinical Reasoning in the Health Professions, 4th ed., Edinburgh, UK: Elsevier; 2019: 475-482.

Patton N, Christensen N. Pedagogies for teaching and learning clinical reasoning. In: Higgs J, Jensen G, Loftus S, Christensen N. Clinical Reasoning in the Health Professions, 4th ed., Edinburgh, UK: Elsevier; 2019: 335-344.

Huhn K, Black L, Christensen N, Furze J, Vendrely A, Wainwright S. Clinical reasoning: survey of teaching methods and assessment in entry-level physical therapist clinical education. JOPTE 2018; 32(3):241-247.  doi: 10.1097/JTE.0000000000000043.

Christensen N, Black L, Furze J, Huhn K, Vendrely A, Wainwright S. Clinical reasoning: survey of teaching methods, integration, and assessment in entry-level physical therapist academic education. Phys Ther. 2017; 97(2): 175-186. https://doi.org/10.2522/ptj.20150320

Hoeger Bement MK, St Marie BJ, Nordstrom TM, Christensen N, Mongoven JM, Koebner IJ, Fishman SM, Sluka KA. An interprofessional consensus of core competencies for prelicensure education in pain management: curriculum application for physical therapy. Phys Ther. 2014; 94(4):451-465. https://doi.org/10.2522/ptj.20130346

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

American Physical Therapy Association
Academy of Physical Therapy Education
APTA Section on Research
American Council of Academic Physical Therapy
Clinical Reasoning Curricula & Assessment Consortium
American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists

Community Service

Editorial Board Member, Journal of Physical Therapy Education

Peer reviewer for ​Physical Therapy Journal, Musculoskeletal Science and Practice Journal, Journal of Physical Therapy Education.

Secretary for ACAPT Clinical Reasoning Curricula & Assessment Consortium

DPT Program Coordinator: FACES for the Future Mentoring Program

Honors & Awards

Grant Awards:
Academy of Physical Therapy Education Grant Award December 2018:
Christensen N, Black L, Gilliland S, Huhn K, Wainwright S. 
Exploration of the Role of Movement in Physical Therapists’ Clinical Reasoning

Academy of Physical Therapy Education Grant Award December 2018:
Peterson J, Black L, Hartley G, Christensen N
Outcomes of Resident Education: Exploring Learner Development During and Post-Residency

Samuel Merritt University Faculty Scholarship Grant Award June 2018:
Christensen N, Black L, Jensen G, Wainwright S
Student Physical Therapists’ Clinical Reasoning: Development of an Entrustable Professional Activity Schema

Faculty Non-research Publication Award
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.
California Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association.
October 2013.