Reaching nursing staff needing standardized education in a very large academic, multi-specialty and quaternary medical health system spanning 36,000 square miles, 16 counties, and 5 regions has proven complex. Issues such as staffing, travel time, and budget constraints impact the nursing staff’s ability to attend centralized education events.
The mission of our healthcare system is “We exist to serve all people by providing personalized health and wellness through exemplary care, education, and research as a Christian ministry of healing.” To fulfill this mission, exemplary patient care must be delivered regardless of where the patient is located within our system.
In collaboration with divisional clinic nursing leaders, it was determined only utilizing online education greatly limited participatory interaction. According to Donna Wright1 an important domain of competency validation is “critical thinking.” A major way of developing critical thinking is through experience, which can then be shared with peers through discussion and storytelling. Many formats of online education are limited in contributing to critical thinking. To remedy this and to engage learners, the educators of our system decided to utilize a webinar format to present education on new or revised policies, regulatory changes, nursing practice changes, and quality initiatives.
A three-pronged approach was developed to deliver all education throughout the ambulatory care system. The first prong was to ensure all education developed was evidence-based. The second prong was to deliver content utilizing webinar. This method not only delivers the needed education, it allows for opportunities to validate critical thinking skills. The third prong was tracking attendance and completion using a LEARN management system. This management system helps our nurse leaders track the staff learning online as well as print a transcript for their individual competency record (ICR).
To date, we have utilized this process multiple times with great success. Nurse leaders are able to run reports from the management system. Our results to date indicate we are reaching more than 90% of our 1000 nursing staff.