Introduction: Pediatric ambulatory nursing services are growing. An increasing number of patients present with multiple health problems that require more monitoring, a broader skill set, and most importantly patient education. In the pediatric ambulatory setting, educational gaps exist among nurses in the specialty clinics who share these patients. Within the specialty clinics, nurses concentrate solely on one discipline and skill set pertaining to that specialty. This results in a lack of exposure and knowledge of other specialties and diagnoses. Family questions often arise that encompass multiple disciplines and nurses are unable to answer the patient/family questions without delay in care. These questions are at times left unanswered, leaving a potential gap in knowledge as well as decreased patient and family satisfaction.
Methods: In response to this knowledge gap, a series titled “educate and elevate” was implemented consisting of staff-led series of educational talks. This initiative provided a forum to gain and enhance knowledge about various specialties from peers who are content experts in each specialty. Expert nurses are recruited from various disciplines to provide a presentation for other nurses and any staff interested in the topic. A range of topics such as diagnoses specific, process improvement, and executive leadership aims have been presented monthly. This platform promotes professional development as well as encourages professional relationships. Additionally, many of the lectures provided continuing nursing education hours for nurses.
Results: The effectiveness of the project was evaluated by having participants complete a feedback survey after each presentation is given on the overall experience and premise behind the in services. A total of 55 participants attended the presentations and completed the survey. Results show that 98% want the series to continue. 63% state the series enhances knowledge, improves patient and family satisfaction, and improves patient care. Additionally, 55% say it impacts professional development by providing lifelong learning and continuing education. 98% would recommend the series to others.
Conclusion: Learning is facilitated by creating a welcoming educational platform, where knowledge and open dialogue freely takes place. Nurses and staff are empowered to become more knowledgeable to better assist their patients, families, and most importantly—themselves. Additionally, nurses become more proactive in their professional growth, networking, and enhancing execution of healthcare services. Educational barriers are removed by enhancing opportunities for nurses to continue to be lifelong learners and gain continuing education hours when possible. Topics are well received and widely supported by leadership and this “educate and elevate” series has gained organizational awareness and recognition. This program innovatively empowers nurses to elevate and become dynamic well-rounded ambassadors outside of their specialty, which increases patient and family satisfaction overall.