Issue: A survey of currently employed nurse managers working in the ambulatory care arena within a major medical system revealed a need for increased competencies in leadership and business management.
Intervention: A course was developed collaboratively between academia and practice and inter-professionally with the nursing institute and the college of business and economics at a respected local university to address the identified areas of need. The course is being offered for credit at the master’s level through the extended education branch of the university to BSN-prepared managers and nursing staff in ambulatory care at the medical centers within the medical system.
Funded through a grant for continuing education of employees at the medical centers, students are compensated for attending class and given time to study and prepare. The class is offered in a hybrid format with approximately half of all classes face-to-face and half online. The face-to-face classes are held in the central regional office of the medical system, making them accessible to all students.
Course content includes topics such as leadership and behavior in healthcare, financing healthcare and managing costs, managerial thinking and performance in healthcare, strategic planning and marketing, quality improvement and information technology, and managing healthcare professionals, as well as others. Students participate in online discussion boards and in class and are expected to present in groups on various topics culminating in a final paper and project presented in class.
The instructor selected for the course is a double grad of the university with both a BSN and master’s degree in healthcare management. She has extensive knowledge and experience in healthcare administration in a large hospital system where she was the vice president of service lines.
Prospective BSN-prepared students must submit an application with a letter of intent, and a letter of support from their department administrator. If multiple applicants from one department apply, interviews may be held. Completed applications are screened with identifying data removed and selected by managers and union leaders.
This is a 15-week semester-long course, and accepted students are allocated 45 hours for attending class (virtually and face-to-face), 45 hours of study time (3 hours every week), and 30 hours or 2 hours per week to connect with a mentor, shadow a leader, or apply learned concepts in a project at their workplace.
Three cohorts of 15 students each will take this course in fall 2018, spring 2019, and fall 2019. The first cohort is completing the course this month and the second cohort of 15 students has been selected for spring 2019, with 44 applicants and 36 completed applications.
Evaluation/results: An online pre-/post-survey has been developed through qualtrics at the university to evaluate both quantitative and qualitative measures of learning using Likert scales and open-ended questions. Results of the first cohort will be available later this month, and these will be analyzed to determine if changes may need to be made in subsequent courses. These results will also be reportable on the prospective poster.