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Transforming Nursing Education to Meet Needs of Changing Healthcare System: JCN Faculty Develop Innovative Model


Jefferson College of Nursing faculty worked together to transform the college’s undergraduate curriculum into an innovative new model for educating nurses to keep pace with the ever-changing healthcare delivery system. Three faculty members recently published an article detailing the redesign.

Nursing Educator has published “Designing a New Model for Clinical Education: An Innovative Approach,” authored by Kathryn Shaffer, EdD, MSN, RN, CNE; Beth Ann Swan, PhD, CRNP, FAAN; and Mary Bouchaud, PhD, MSN, CNS, RN, CRRN.

According to the authors, it is important to transform the way future nurses are educated, both in the classroom and clinical settings, to care for people along the life and care continuum, not just in acute-care settings.

Their article describes a new approach to educating baccalaureate nursing students using immersion practicums that expose students to population health, transitions of care, care coordination and the multiple roles a nurse engages in along the continuum. The curriculum developed by the authors includes five immersions, each with a specific life and care continuum focus to develop anticipatory thinkers.

Immersion I: provides beginning nursing students the opportunity to practice health promotion, health restoration, and health maintenance for individuals, families, and communities.

Immersion II: builds on Immersion I and focuses on the unique needs of individuals and their families experiencing acute and chronic conditions along the care continuum.

Immersion III: continues to build on prior immersions with a focus on the unique developmental needs of children, childbearing women and older adults.

Immersion IV:  builds on previous immersions and has students select an area of professional interest, for example, operating room, emergency room, outpatient dialysis, correctional health, intensive care, labor and delivery, pediatrics or behavioral health. Previous immersion practicum concepts are used to synthesize the scientific process, evidence-based care, clinical reasoning, and creative problem solving to support clinical decision making and person-centered care.

Immersion V:  provides a synthesis of the four curricular themes of innovation, practice excellence, interprofessional collaboration and population health as they relate to specific individuals, communities, populations and/or settings.

In the piece, Drs. Shaffer, Swan and Bouchard say that with the knowledge that healthcare delivery is shifting from a traditional, acute-care focus to ambulatory, community/population-based care that promotes health along the life and care continuum, nursing education needs to be responsive to emerging roles for RNs and drastically change curricula.

Access the full paper.