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Background: Physical and mental health problems are interconnected, and registered nurses need to be competent in performing comprehensive physical and mental health assessment. This article reports on a pilot evaluation of education in comprehensive health assessment and clinical judgment for registered nurses enrolled in a master of nursing program. Methods: Observation and interview data were collected from nine teaching staff and students. Results: Analysis resulted in three themes: reconstructing specialty knowledge, integrating revised knowledge into practice, and expanding practice. Students and staff navigated a process of deconstructing existing specialty knowledge and reconstructing knowledge to incorporate a revised understanding of comprehensive assessment. Although there were barriers to implementing this process in practice, students reported that their extended understanding expanded their assessment practices and influenced some colleagues’ practices. Conclusion: There is a need for continuing education in comprehensive health assessment for registered nurses as well as investigation of the translation of this knowledge into practice.

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Journal Article

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