The nursing students in their final semester from acculturate degree program are in the process of synthesizing the accumulative knowledge, skills and abilities/attitudes (AKA) acquired from classroom didactics and clinical trainings since entry in the nursing program.
The instructors serve as facilitators and objective examiners in the learner- centered mode of education. The students’ passion for nursing and openness to innovative learning environment will promote a seamless transition to survive the demands of the complex and constantly evolving health care system. Key”rods: Core Competencies, Outcomes, Patient Safety, Evidence-Based Practice, Communication &Collaboration, Can’s essentials, Ewers SEEN, AKA, COOP. Introduction The nursing profession needs nurses that are immune to the complexities of current health care industry. They need nurses that are effective communicators and collaborators in delivering patient-centered care. They need nurses that can manage and lead the interdisciplinary team advocating for the latest evidence-based practices that prioritize patient safety and quality improvement.
These are the key core competencies endorsed by Can’s The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional NursingPractice (2008). These essentials are established in the hope of bridging the gaps of education and professional practice. The economic, political and social structures of this country dictate the changes and reforms in the health care arena.
The aging baby boomers, cultural diversity brought by influx of global migration, nursing staff shortage, the prevalence of chronic illnesses, the advancement of medical researches and technologies are few Of the factors/issues that stimulated the nursing education to re-design the curricular frameworks to meet the needs of the community.Raja’s SEEN ND Limburger’s COOP are two of the latest evidence-based and competency- based learning models developed separately but shared similar core competency goals (Armstrong, Spencer & Lundeberg, 2009). SEEN and COOP echo the Can’s essentials. These models show remarkable promises in producing competent practitioners based from the data survey that improve census in enrollment/retention and success in licensee examinations. These models enhance the students ‘critical thinking and clinical reasoning; therefore, impacts the patient safety and quality of care (Armstrong & et al, 2009).Three Core Competencies 1.
Patient Safety The current health care system mimics the operation of many customer service related business companies wherein customer satisfaction is the number one priority. High patient satisfaction is the end to excellent care and service. However, excellent care usually is equated to low incidents of medical errors and patient mortality. The nursing profession is in the business of promotion, prevention and maintenance of their patients’, patients’ families/ loved ones and their community’s health and well-being.
According to Sherwood & Drunkard (2007), “Though ‘do no harm’ is the paramount value in he health professions, mistakes do happen; however, systems can be designed to reduce the probability of error and improve the quality”. Patient Safety is second in the lists of nine essentials of Can’s (2008). Patient safety is defined as “minimization of risk of harm to patients and providers through both system effectiveness and individual performance” (p. 13). SEEN listened to the voices of CAN and Institute of Medicine or MOM in making patient safety as top priority in core competency lists.
According to ,abaca (2008), the latest research shows that the nurses [not other health care providers] who re involved in direct patient care are usually the first to “recognize, interrupt, evaluate and correct health care errors” (p. 13). When the publication of ‘To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System’ by John, Corcoran & Donaldson  came out, the media headlines sensationalists the incidents of death and near death related medical errors (O’Dell & Bart, 2011 , p. 370-371 Who would forget the incident in Cedar Sinai hospital in LA? The neonatal twins of the famous actor Dennis Quad were given an adult dose of heparin.The media attention is a wakeup call to the entire health care practice councils. They acted on the issues by putting patient safety in the forefront of health care practice.
Patient safety is in the top lists in core competencies for all medical disciplines that are involved in providing direct patient care. The nursing academia established initiatives called SEEN, with the overall goal since 2009 that states, “To equip future nurses with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes [Asks] needed to continuously improve the quality and safety of the health care systems within which they work (O’Dell & Bart, 201 1). . Evidence-based Practice Evidence-based practice or EBPP is the application of the scientific Asks in all areas of the nursing fields. EBPP brings progress and development that improves the old/traditional practices and blend with new evidence-based and competency-based practices. EBPP is the cornerstone of patient safety, quality care, and cost-effectiveness in health care (O’Dell & Bart, 2011 , p.
370). The innovative learning strategy models of COOP and SEEN are the byproducts of EBPP that enhances the students’ critical and analytical thinking as well as clinical reasoning and judgments.EBPP promotes positive patient care outcomes; therefore increases patient satisfaction. The use of EBPP also acclimates cost effective delivery of care. (CAN, 2008) EBPP is the terminology introduced by medicine arena that nursing adopted to elevate the profession.
EBPP is the third essentials of CAN (2008, p. 15). EBPP according to MOM  is defined as, ‘care that integrates the best research with clinical expertise and patient values for optimum care’ (O’Dell & Bart, 201 1).The applications of high technological tools such as simulator manikins, digital cameras, interactive computer software, and website search engines, etc.
In classrooms and clinical laboratories are few of the remarkable progress that facilitates optimal learning. The application of competency-based instructions formed the students’ foundation to scientific research methods. The students’ ability to investigate, question theories and conceptual models assist in development Of Asks in critical thinking, clinical reasoning/judgment during didactic and clinical rotations.
According to CAN (2008) essentials, “Baccalaureate education provides a basic understanding of how evidence is developed, including research process, clinical judgment, interpersonal perspectives, and patient preference as applied to practice” (p. 16). Graduating nursing students have been exposed to research courses that taught them the different methodologies in research; common research terminologies; AKA in critiquing literatures; statistical analysis and interpretations, etc.EBPP improved applications of research findings in actual practice and learned how to disseminate findings (O’Dell & Bart, 201 1, p. 372). The familiarization with legal and ethical implications is a crucial component in research education like confidentiality of subjects. One of the most important roles off nurse is advocacy.
CAN (2008) emphasizes that acculturate education includes, ‘the protection of patients’ rights, including those of the most vulnerable patients, in situations where actual or potential conflict of interest, misconduct, or the potential for harm are identified” (p. 6). 3.
Communication and Collaboration Communication is the imparting or interchange of thoughts and information to another individual or group of individuals. The transmission of information between the deliverer’s and receiver/s create subjective interpretations that can lead to a better understanding if both parties are in the same wavelength of thinking and interpretation of the information. Otherwise, it can bring negative messages that lead to conflicts, confusions, and chaos.Communication and collaboration is the 6th essentials of CAN (2008). Effective communication truly improves the quality of care. The ability to interact with colleagues, patients and families and other people involved in patient care will determine the effectiveness of the nurses’ role in interdisciplinary team collaboration in a patient-centered delivery care model. (CAN, 2008 p. 22) Competencies in communication are focused on conflict resolution and crucial conversation skills to build team collaboration amongCO-nu rises and delegation of tasks to assisted staffs.
In the art aspect of nursing profession, communication with compassion is the center of holistic nursing model. Communication is traditionally geared to active listening, empathy and ability to assess and educate patients (Sherwood & Drunkard, 2007). The students can practice their communication skills through role playing and simulation exercises in the clinical laboratory.The simulation practice can be simultaneously video record, which is useful in debriefing and dialogue between students and instructors as a form of evaluation and assessments for areas of communication that needs improvement. Simulation in clinical laboratory provides practice in a safe and non- threatening environment, thus conducive to learning. Numerous study findings in teaching communication to nursing students compiled by Covenanter, Huff & Munroe (2010) implies that, “The traditional classroom in teaching Of communication skills does not allow for practical application” (p.
5). The traditional teaching pertains to lectures and discussions in the classroom. How to Structure an Environment that Fosters Learning The old school system used to teach nurses “to be obedient, dependent and earful in caring for patients”, however, the complexities of today’s health care environment drove the nursing curricula to teach students to be “empowered and to be treated as valued members of the profession” (Rowels, 2012, p. 259).The new generation nurses are independent critical thinkers that can provide individualized, evidence-based and patient-centered care for multiple patients with various caustics in a holistic nursing model AKA that leads the interdisciplinary team to deliver optimal care.
The computer technology and integration of nursing informatics have influenced the learning environment, UT the element of human touch and intellect are invaluable and irreplaceable.There are tons of innovative strategies out there, but two remarkable strategies in promoting competencies in patient safety, evidence- based practice and communication and collaboration are selected. They are problem-based learning [PL] and simulation. The instructors or facilitators can introduce those core competencies in an integrated manner. In the classroom, PL strategies can be implemented through group collaboration like assignment projects, case study analysis, written reports, dialogues/ discussions, etc.The instructor prepares challenging scenarios that exercise the students’ critical thinking and clinical judgments.
“PL is usually used as an approach to the entire curriculum; rather than focusing on separate disciplines or nursing specialties, in PL clinical problems and professional issues are used as the focus of integrating all of the content necessary for clinical practice” (Rowels, 2012, p. 273). The students’ actual clinical experiences and the instructors’ own experiences, et al. Are immense sources for clinical questions and case study materials that makes PL effective.Winters & Achievers, 2012) Secondly, the use of role playing is widely applied at the clinical laboratories. Simulation by role playing promotes group collaboration.
Research shows that inadequate communication and poor working relationships are common causes of safety events and near misses incidents (Sherwood & Drunkard, 2007). An illustration of incorporating effective communication is through role playing exercises of Call-Out and SABA [situation, background, assessment and recommendation].These are standardized communication tools that are implemented in conjunction to the National Patient Safety Goals from the Joint Commission (J).
These tools are core competency components in Timestamps, an evidence-based team building model from the collaboration projects of Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (ARQ) and Department of Defense (DOD) applying the team sport model to health care with the aim to improve communication among health care providers (Johnson, Hamilton, Delaney & Pennington, 201 1) The scenario of role playing in Call-out and Time Out practice is in the operating rooms.The students are divided into groups of five or six that create the surgery teams of doctors, nurses, technicians, etc. Then the circulating nurse actor calls out the team’s attention for a quick huddle. The nurse say out loud the following information: the name of the patient, the procedure, the correct site, the anesthesia and surgery team to update the rest of the team about the procedure, the anticipated equipment, the plan, et al.The practice of this communication tool improved team collaboration and accountability with less errors. Another critical exercise to role play is the use of SABA to practice of endorsing report.
SABA is borrowed by civilians from the Navy operational system of communication. SABA is useful in guiding nurses and other health care providers with giving reports during transfer process of patients to procedures, other units or other facilities. SABA should be “concise, clear and timely’ (Johnson, teal, 2011, p. 87). It can be a brief note or a hand off verbal report either face to face or by phone at the time of transfer.
Communication outcome findings of literature review by Reusing, Carr, She & King (2011) shows that use of high fidelity simulation [HUFFS] in an Advance Cardiac Life Support or CALLS code scenario provided the important value of role fertilization in the team collaboration, wherein the word ‘autonomous’ and ‘independence’ Were numerously used in the students’ descriptions Of the experience.The use of simulation strategies help the students gain an in- depth understanding on the importance of effective communication skills which boost their confidence and assertiveness that they can integrate in actual clinical practice. (Covenanter & et al, 201 0) In the arena of EBPP, the article of O’Dell & Bart (2007) emphasizes the importance of teaching graduating students with data mining and interpretation; data warehousing and data election.These Asks can be reinforced with practice of PICOT [Population of interests, Intervention or area of interest, Comparison intervention or group, Outcome and Time] format in clinical questionings that starts from simple to complex information. (Winters & Achievers, 201 2) PL and Simulation can be applied in exercising the use of PICOT format either by group collaboration practice and individual essay writing.
Pep’s data collection, mining and interpretation facilitate improvement in objective evaluation of web-based health information that is useful for patient and/or family teaching.Lastly the Asks related to EBPP assist in collections of best practices from the seasoned nurses at the bedside which are reliable as long as the practices are supported by peer reviewed research journals. The debriefing discussions and dialogue are great evaluation tools for feedbacks and lesson learned information. The common philosophy of “work smarter not harder” is practically the incorporation of EBPP to actual practice, which impact patient safety and quality of care.Employing Evaluation Methods The implementations of the scientific process in creating standardized valuation tools are the domain of the subject matter experts that diligently tested the tools prior to utilization. Evaluating learning models for its effectiveness can manifest through positive results shown through survey questionnaires at the end of each course. The suggestions and comments by students are utilized in course improvement activities.
Some information can be used for data collections in a quantitative research analysis and performance improvement projects by the faculty consultants.One method of evaluation prior to implementing a learning model like COOP, is to pilot the remark to actual nursing school like what the model developers conducted in Vermont school called Vermont Nurse Internship Program or VEIN, in which the school embraced the COOP model and “its founding principles because it provided the essential framework to emphasize critical thinking over tasks; concepts over cases; integrated actual performance over test results; and performance-based expectations over procedures” (Lundeberg & et al, 201 1).Another evaluation tool proved to be effective is the Competency Performance Examination or COPE from COOP model. It is a denaturized performance examination in didactic and clinical courses that test the nursing competency-based courses through establishments of the specified outcomes in the form of competency performance checklists by instructors. There are oral and written examinations and essay writing assignments both in the classrooms and laboratories. The faculty consultants and model developers of Queen’s AKA and COOP did a synergistic study as discussed in the article of Armstrong & et al (2009).The two learning models are found to be complementary and shared the values of safety, competence, and specific action-oriented concepts.
SEEN and COOP models share similar goals of promoting students competency with the Can’s recommended nine essentials, which can narrow the gap of education and practice. Both models believed in instituting innovative teaching-learning strategies that geared more with hands on technical skills of students that assist in a seamless transition from learners to practitioners.Conclusion Nursing practice has come a long way of being ancillary aides to medical doctors to an autonomous role with active voice in the overall schemes Of team collaboration to provide the highest quality patient care. Nurses are a core part of the changing quality and safety paradigm in health care. New roles and expectations for nurses lend urgency to the call to transform nursing curricula and new graduate competencies to match practice setting and patient care” (Sherwood & Drunkard, 2007). Queen’s Asks and COOP proved to be a promising answer to meet those goals in the world of nursing academia.One of the most critical outcomes for nursing academic institutions is to reduce the students’ turnovers and or dropouts, and instead increase students’ enrollments that can successfully graduate and pass censure boards. The role of nursing educators in promoting optimal learning with the utilization of innovative teaching-learning strategies can make a positive difference to the growth and development of the graduating students which instill safety in all aspects Of nursing care practice.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel.The consistent collaboration and commitment from health care organizations, government agencies, nursing academia, and consumers will produce competent nurses both in quantity and quality. References American Association of Colleges of Nursing, (2008). The essentials of acculturate education for professional nursing practice. Washington, DC: Author; 2008. Retrieved @ Armstrong, Spencer, T. & Lundeberg, C.
(2009). Using quality and safety education for nurses to enhance competency outcome performance assessment: A synergistic approach that promotes patient safety and quality outcomes.