In October 2010, the Institute of Medicine released the report “The Future of Nursing,” making recommendations for the nursing profession. One of the key messages: Nurses should practice to the full extent of their education and training. NurseWeek asked Colorado facilities to highlight unique partnerships and programs they have in place to support the education of their nursing staff.Terry Chase, RN
Terry Chase, RN, MA, ND
Patient & Family Education Program Coordinator
Craig Hospital, Englewood, Colo.
The Caring Educator Project II Fellowship is an opportunity for staff nurses to actively participate in personal, professional and program development through a mentored, 10-month fellowship. The Patient & Family Education Program provides a high-quality experience of learning offered to patients and families learning to live with the effects of catastrophic injury and change in their lives. Throughout the history of Craig Hospital, emphasis on educating the patient and family for a full life post-injury has been the cornerstone of quality care. Yet as the delivery of healthcare changes, attention to some elements of quality education may fall behind. Professional nurses [maximum of four] chosen for this unique learning experience and opportunity will be expected to participate fully in the development of a Caring Educator Project to be mentored throughout the year.Darcy Donaldson, RN, left, and Amanda Schooley, RN
Darcy Donaldson, RN, MSN, CCRN
VA Clinical Scholar Program Manager
and Amanda Schooley, RN, BSN, CCRN
VA Clinical Education
VA Eastern Colorado Healthcare System
The VA Eastern Colorado Healthcare System participates in the clinical scholar model that uses its own experienced nurses as preceptors with participating schools of nursing. A unique partnership was born when the VAs clinical scholar program noticed Regis students self-selecting to return for multiple clinical experiences. One student noted that upon graduation, she had completed more than 500 VA clinical hours. Often, these students then go on to apply for RN positions at the VA. Out of this phenomenon came REVA, a partnership between the VA and Regis University. A select cohort of Regis students complete all clinical rotations at the VA. The students undergo a selection process that includes an interview the goal is to educate highly motivated students dedicated to caring for our nations veterans. This two-way partnership also allows for development of staff nurses as clinical educators.Gentry Mansur, RN
Gentry Mansur, RN
Charge Nurse, Clinical Coordinator Med/Surg/Peds
Platte Valley Medical Center, Brighton, Colo.
PVMC sets annual goals for nurses to receive certifications in their area of expertise. To ensure nurses accomplish these goals, PVMC offers several onsite lectures on various topics that are taught by our own professional experts as well as experts from other local facilities and national speakers. In addition to providing multiple educational opportunities, PVMC provides a generous stipend for nurses to continue their formal education. In January, PVMC partnered with a local university to offer an onsite RN-BSN program designed to support working adults. I am currently working on my BSN. PVMC has not only contributed to the funding of my degree but has been extremely supportive and encouraging. I am grateful for the opportunities that PVMC has given me because without the continual support and guidance, I would not be seeking an advanced degree in nursing or be where I am today.Noreen Nicol, RN
Noreen Nicol, RN, MS, FNP, NEA-BC
Director, Professional Development
The Children’s Hospital, Aurora, Colo.
The Children’s Hospital provides a dynamic atmosphere for nurses lifelong learning and mentorship to enhance knowledge and skills in patient care and best nursing practice. One innovative model was created when the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner group identified a need to have a more formal structure and process to the overall coordination of NNP clinical education. The coordinator of NNP education role was then developed. The coordinators first priority was to develop a close relationship with the Regis University NNP program. It was then decided that the NNP education coordinators would work closely with the Regis program and also serve as clinical faculty. A grant was written and awarded from the Hearst Foundation to support training and orientation for new NNPs and recruitment, retention and professional development of the experienced NNP. The Children’s Hospital has built alliances with six Colorado schools or colleges of nursing education. This year, Children’s has hosted 46 graduate nursing students from six colleges and universities.Lavone Hastings, RN, left, and Peg Miller, RN
Lavone Hastings, RN-BC, BSN, M.MGT
Manager, Professional Development
Porter Adventist Hospital, Denver, Colo.
A focused leadership education program was developed at Porter Adventist Hospital to support the leadership role development of nurses at the point of care. The program competencies included building relationships, planning patient care, making decisions, utilizing practice standards, communicating, developing people, financial stewardship, service orientation, goal setting and patient outcomes. The success of this pilot program provided the foundation to shift a leadership educational program for frontline nurses from a hospital program to a systemwide Centura Health initiative. The LEAP program (Leadership, Excellence, Accountability, Professionalism) consists of five, four-hour sessions. A variety of teaching and learning modalities are employed including didactic, discussion, self assessment, role play, group scenarios, interactive activities, videos, pre-assignments and stretch assignments. Nurses who develop excellent leadership abilities add value to our organization, as well as patient outcomes.
Margaret (Peg) Miller, BSN, MA
Porter Adventist Hospital, Denver
Ready Set Precept is a new millennium educational venue utilized by nurses at Porter Adventist Hospital. The purpose of this online self-paced course is to enhance the knowledge and skills of preceptors of new staff. The course provides interactive coaching sessions of real-life examples of on-boarding scenarios. Nurses have the flexibility to complete this course either while at work or home. This course was designed through a community partnership among acute care facilities, an academic institution and a nursing workforce entity. Porter provided a key leadership role in this partnership through the expertise in real-world application including examples of coaching interactions in this 11-course series. Topics in this series include learner differences, novice to experts, critical thinking, communication and legal issues. There is a self-check and mastery test at the end of each session. The interactive components and flexibility of this learning strategy foster the continued use of technology of the current generation of nurses.Linda Roan, RN
Linda Roan, RN, MN
Director of Education, Research and Innovation & Director of Pediatrics
The Medical Center of Aurora/Centennial Medical Plaza
The Medical Center of Aurora prides itself on supporting learning at all levels. To this end, we have incentives available to nurses who pursue formal education, starting with tuition reimbursement and bonus recognition. We provide opportunities for entry-level staff to develop skills to prepare them for college-level courses, and we provide internal universities that support continual learning. In addition, we make sure colleges and universities are present at our events, so staff can get the information they need about the programs available to further their educations. We provide classroom space to colleges and universities to provide the ultimate access for employees to continue learning. We have partnerships with four universities in our area. These partnerships support our Magnet culture and encourage staff as they pursue their RN, BSN or other advanced degrees.Tammy Dechant, RN
Tammy Dechant, RN
HealthONE-North Suburban Medical Center, Thornton, Colo.
HealthONE-North Suburban Medical Center is a 157-bed licensed hospital that holds continuing education, as well as staff development, in high regards. Our facility utilizes both in-house educational opportunities, as well as the utilization of online e-learning systems. The in-house versions of education encompass unit-specific education and hospital-wide classes. Our organization uses the e-learning environment in which training and education is created, individualized for the facility, and uploaded into this electronic classroom. Via the e-learning system, there are a vast multitude of modules available for unit-specific or generalized education. CEUs are also available through this system and are free for all employees. Access to this environment is available both within the hospital and at home. North Suburbans Education Department conducts an annual needs assessment which provides the staff with the opportunity to share with hospital administration their thoughts on which educational topics are needed to help them be successful in their role. With this, the department builds a yearly plan that addresses both the employees needs, as well as those topics which are required. Our hospital has partnerships with many area colleges and universities and facilitates student placement within our walls. North Suburban has a Professional Nurse Recognition Program, in which employees are given recognition and bonuses based on many aspects to include education. Additionally, our hospital designed a program to allow nurses, who wish to cross train into other departments, to do so by orienting within the selected department and receiving a mentor for training and education.Megan Amaral, RN, left, and JoAnn DelMonte, RN
Megan L. Amaral, RN, BSN
McKee Medical Center, Loveland, Colo.
Banner Health Western Region Simulation System, located at McKee Medical Center, provides ongoing education and training to nurses using medical simulation mannequins. We are the first hospital-based simulation center in Colorado. Our mobile simulation program provides the same training to staff working at each of Banners 12 hospitals in the systems Western Region, including nine critical access hospitals. Our family of 13 medical simulation mannequins includes adult, pediatric, labor and delivery and neonate mannequins. Simulation is a safe place for staff to practice high-risk, low-volume procedures and skills. Working directly with a units manager and/or educator, we can provide learning scenarios from our large case library or customize the simulation directly to the learners needs.
JoAnn DelMonte, RN, MSN
Manager, Clinical Education and Professional Development
University of Colorado Hospital, Aurora, Colo.
The University of Colorado Hospital offers one of the nations first Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredited Post-Baccalaureate Nurse Residency Programs. The yearlong program is designed to facilitate newly graduated baccalaureate-prepared nurses to develop advanced clinical judgment and transition into competent clinical nurses in a fast-moving acute care environment. UCH has partnered with the University of Colorado Denver College of Nursing since 2000 to develop, implement and continuously improve the quality of this dynamic hospital-based program. A variety of innovative program delivery strategies such as use of iClickers, written clinical narratives, small group seminars and preceptor-guided clinical experiences are used to promote critical thinking and develop clinical skills throughout the transition year. Nurse residents are also required to complete an evidence-based practice program project. The residency program has promoted the effective transition of hundreds of post-baccalaureate nurses into their Magnet work environment.