Fundamentals Escape Deck is available for pre-order!

A full escape room contained in a card deck

No more tech headache or confusion in creating an escape room experience for your students.  

An Escape Deck brings the puzzles, teamwork, and escape room feel to any nursing classroom.

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Does this sound like you? 

✅ Looking for a quick and easy activity that is easy to implement?

✅ Wanting to engage your students in the content?

✅ Working on transforming your classroom into an active learning environment?

✅ Need an activity for clinical post-conference or clinical replacement?

I want to help nursing instructors easily add an escape room activity into their teaching toolbox.  They can be time-consuming to create and build.  The Escape Deck is a complete escape room format within a deck of cards.  Check out the video to see how it works!

Two Decks Available:

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Escape Deck Patient Line Up2

The Escape Decks Include:

Escape Deck QR Code - Website
Escape Deck Debrief Guide - Website
Escape Deck Additional Activities - Website

Right now, you would love to have an escape room, but it seems overwhelming to build from scratch.  You would love a different approach to present content that is not a case study but still requires critical thinking.

Imagine that you had a ready-to-go activity that included high-level clinical judgment and decision-making.   

The Escape Deck is a done-for-you, engaging activity that your students will not want to put down!  

Hey, I'm Martha.

I am a nursing instructor who loves active learning, and I build this deck!

I went from teaching a 3-hour PowerPoint-driven lecture to a classroom full of student-led projects and high-energy discussion. 

One of my favorite classroom activities is an escape room built in our simulation lab.   But it took me a full 18 months to develop this one classroom activity. This is because I did so much research and reading, looking for puzzles related to nursing, and thinking about connecting an escape room to the content I teach.  

Then COVID happened . . . rather than learning to bake bread or knit, I started thinking about other ways that an escape room experience could happen.

And the Escape Deck was born!  I hope your students have so much fun learning and interacting with this deck that they ask for more puzzles.  

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What other instructors are saying about the Escape Decks ...

"In post-conference, the students worked through the Escape Deck this week and really enjoyed it. It brought about a lot of good discussion, especially the choice between oxygen masks. It was a great review for the last clinical day."


"I just wanted to re-iterate just how impressed I am with the Escape Deck. I played through it by myself before having the students do it and I love all of it. You put so much thought and detail into this game. The students have had good feedback as well. It's challenging but not so much that they cannot get through."


"I got my escape room deck today and OMG, you put so much effort into these. They were worth every penny. I am working my way through Josh Barnes now and it is awesome! I even bought a second deck to share with one my university's med-surg class instructors. This deck is so innovative, I love it!"


"I love your stuff and use it all the time! The Escape Deck was a great segway from our larger simulation and is awesome for clinical downtime."


Who is this for?

Escape Deck 1

Frequently Asked Questions:

So what do I get when I purchase a deck?

  • You get a 100-card escape deck with patient scenarios and the answer key/debriefing guide.

What’s in the answer key and debriefing guide?

  • A step-by-step walk-through of the entire game from start to finish.  All answers are provided.  

  • Areas of the game that are important in debriefing and supporting rationale. 

  • Ideas for modifications to include further analysis or application.

  • Additional application activities to continue working with the patient scenarios on a deeper level.

  • Images of the cards and puzzles, so students never get stuck and frustrated.

What kind of nursing content is included?

  • In the Fluid & Electrolyte Emergency Department - Five patient scenarios are included.  A CHF patient with fluid overload, a pediatric patient with vomiting, a GI bleed, a dehydrated construction worker, and a patient with chronic kidney disease on dialysis. 

  • In the Surgical Unit Fundamentals - Four patient scenarios are included.  A mastectomy patient with a drain, a bowel obstruction with an NG tube and I&O calculations, a patient with a fracture that develops a PE, and a patient with an infection who develops acute renal injury.

  • Students will practice nursing concepts throughout, including prioritization, lifespan considerations, nursing skills, medication calculations, lab value analysis, and, my favorite - constant interruptions.  It is as close to an actual nursing shift as you can get!

So, a ready-to-go comprehensive activity for just $99?

Yup.  This deck is really cool, and that's not just me saying that.  All of the deck testers, student groups who have played, and nursing educators who have purchased have given fantastic feedback and wanted to keep playing.  It will be an activity that you can keep running semester after semester.  BUT my goal was to make this a no-brainer because nursing education needs this NOW.

I want inspired and innovative instructors (that’s you!) to have this as a tool to improve the learning experience for our students and help them think critically and ultimately be stronger RNs.

A few more questions:

What if all my classes are online? Does this translate to virtual classrooms?

  • This card deck is designed for students to work in groups.  The cards are essential to completing the activity.  Due to the pandemic, many nursing courses have moved online, and I offer a walk-through of creating a virtual escape room HERE.  But we won’t be online forever. So I would argue that this is the optimal time to set up an escape room activity.  As soon as we return to the classroom, your students will be craving interaction and engagement with others.

What if I have zero active learning experience? 

  • No big deal!  This activity was designed to set it and forget it (just like a crockpot!).  Hand over the deck to the student group, decide if you want them to come to you with questions (or if you are working with another group, just give them the answer key to use if they get stuck) and guide them through debriefing at the end.  The idea is for the instructor to be as hands-off as possible.  After all, the brain that does the thinking, does the learning!

Do I need more than one deck?

  • That depends.  The Fluid & Electrolyte Emergency Department has case studies that overlap and intertwine.  This design allows for higher-level thinking skills, such as managing multiple priorities.  To play this deck all the way through, I recommend a group size between 2-5 students.  You could easily use it as part of a rotational activity classroom period - where students rotate between various activities, some independent, one instructor-led.  In addition, the deck could be an independent activity, possibly for clinical makeup.

  • The Surgical Fundamentals Deck has four separate patient scenarios that do not overlap. Therefore, you could divide this deck among four groups of students, having each group work on an individual case study.

So how do I start?

  • Great question with an easy answer.  Click the "GET A DECK" button below, choose your deck, include your shipping address, and I'll send you a deck.

Refund Policy?

If you are not happy with the escape deck, I will replace or refund the cost of the deck within 30 days.  I am confident that you will think this is an awesome activity, though!

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Here's how it works . . .


Order the Deck

So simple . . . but this will send the deck along with the answer key/debriefing guide right to you.

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Watch the Startup Video

This video will explain the game to the students and get them started playing quickly.  It goes over the rules, the locks, and keys, how to use the QR codes, and most importantly, how to win!

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Give the Students Workspace

Learning can get messy!  With this game, cards will be everywhere.  Some groups will be more organized.  Some will look like a tornado.  There is no right or wrong way but having a large table to spread out and sort through information is helpful.

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Debrief the Scenario

Once the students complete the puzzles, use their excitement to do more profound learning and reflection.  Talk about content but also discuss communication skills, leadership, and problem-solving as a team.

Order A Deck

Group -1

Fluid and Electrolyte Emergency Department

+ 5 patient scenarios

+ Perfect for intermediate/advanced students

+Practice with prioritization and managing multiple patients



Group 260

Surgical Unit Fundamentals

+ 4 patient scenarios

+ Great for beginning students

+Practice with basic lab values and change in condition



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