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Game Ideas for Nursing Education with free downloads

Updated: Jul 29, 2023

Need a fun way to review content before exams? Play some games! My student's LOVE playing games, and I'm sharing some games for the classroom to help make reviewing fun. Ideally, you would use these games to review content that was already taught, not to actually teach. We play these games under the assumption that students have done assigned readings before class and that students now understand the concept (because you taught and reviewed content). Games are best to help with new terminology, normal ranges, signs and symptoms, specific interventions, and steps for a skill.


Jeopardy

If you have a larger classroom, reviewing content with jeopardy can be very fun! Here is a link to a free template you can download for PowerPoint or Google Slides to create your own jeopardy game:

How to play so that all students can participate:

  1. Set up a table with two chairs and a buzzer in the front of the room. I use this call bell.

  2. Divide the class into two teams.

  3. Have one student from each team come sit at the front table and choose who will pick the category and amount first.

  4. When the category and amount is chosen, read the jeopardy question out loud. Tell students in the beginning that hands must be in their laps when the question is read. They cannot ring the bell or buzzer until the whole question is read out loud. They cannot ring the bell unless they know the answer (so no ringing the bell and thinking about the answer). They have 3 seconds to say their answer.

  5. The first student to ring the buzzer/bell answers the question. If they get it correct, their team receives the points and both students return to their seats. If they get it incorrect the other student has 5 seconds to say the answer to "steal" the points. If no one gets the answer correct, no one gets the points.

  6. After both students have returned to their seats, have the next students from each team come to the front table to play. The student on the winning team gets to pick the next category and amount.

  7. Repeat until all students have played and then go back to the very first students until the jeopardy game is finished.

I always have a prize for the winning team to give them motivation. Make sure to also include relevant content that they might see on the exam. When I tell students about these two pieces of motivation, they are always excited to play and it even gets very competitive. Stick to the rules!


Ideas for prizes I have used that nursing students enjoy:

Bingo

Another fun game for large or small classrooms! https://bingobaker.com/ is a free and easy place to create your own bingo games. It has step by step directions for creating your own card and it generates millions of randomly generated unique online cards. You simply share the provided link with your students and each student will get a unique bingo card. With the free version you can print out up to 8 cards. I usually share the link with students and then for students who did not bring an electronic device, I have the 8 cards to hand out- which is always more than enough.


Here is a link to the Fluids/Electrolytes/Acid/Base Bingo card I created and the call sheet for you to use in your own classroom! From this page you can print 8 Bingo cards, you can get the URL to share with your students, and get directions for playing Bingo.

And here is the call sheet:

FEAB BINGO Call Sheet
.docx
Download DOCX • 130KB

I usually play until 3 students call BINGO!


Flippity

Flippity uses Google Sheets to create different games and activities that you can customize to your content needs. Check them out here: https://www.flippity.net/ Each activity has a demo and instructions which are easy to follow!


Here's how I've used some of the activities:

Virtual Breakout

  • In small groups, the goal is for students is to enter the correct "key" in order to unlock the "locks."

  • Create a worksheet for each lock. I've done up to 5 worksheets.

  • One worksheet could be a few multiple choice questions. The "key" could be the answers the the multiple choice questions. For example, if the answer to question 1 is B, question 2 is A, and questions 3 is C, the "key" that the students enter would be BAC.

  • One worksheet could be a list of assessment findings. The "key" could be the number of assessment findings that are abnormal.

  • Essentially, students have to complete the worksheets correctly in order to unlock the locks. As students unlock each lock, give them a different worksheet until they have unlocked all locks.

Crossword

  • Enter the definitions or examples of key terms and students use them to solve the crossword.

Random Name Picker

  • Sometimes I have days where students are not very active. Enter all student names in the name picker and spin the wheel. You can also randomly generate small groups for group activities.

There's a lot you can do and get creative with. Let me know some of your ideas in the comments!


Good Luck!

Professor C.



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