Reaching New Heights in Graduate Nursing Education

Reaching New Heights in Graduate Nursing Education

Written by: Kristin Martin, DNP, FNP-C, CNEcl
Director of Clinical Education/Assistant Professor
Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University

Published: May 2022

ACEN Accreditation Standards, AACN Essentials, and NONPF Competencies… Oh my! Graduate nursing schools (and more specifically advanced practice nursing programs) are tasked with meeting a variety of components necessary for quality advanced practice education. At the same time, these components must align with specific program learning outcomes. Achieving all this while also mapping criteria with student assignments can be daunting. Thus, creating activities that meet multiple objectives simultaneously is a bonus for all involved. That is what we have strived to do in our family nurse practitioner (FNP) program at Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University (FranU).

In an in-person concurrent presentation at the upcoming Nursing Education Accreditation Conference, Dr. Bates and I will describe a simulation assignment that integrates telemedicine and interprofessional education (IPE). The presentation will outline the planning, implementation, and outcomes of a simulated telehealth/IPE scenario, and we will describe how the assignment meets various standards, essentials, and competencies for graduate nursing education. Hint: For ACEN accreditation purposes, this assignment helps to meet ACEN Criteria 4.1, 4.6, 4.9, and 5.3, but we will get to all that in our conference discussion! How exciting is that?!

The presentation, which is entitled Integrating Simulation, Telemedicine, and IPE to Improve Graduate Program Outcomes and Student Success, will be given at the Nursing Education Accreditation Conference and will provide nurse educators with the information needed to replicate a similar student scenario within your own nursing programs. As the Director of Clinical Education of the FNP program at FranU and as a peer evaluator for the ACEN, I recognize the value in sharing educational endeavors that work to solve the challenges of meeting the many expectations of graduate nursing education. Integrating simulation, telemedicine, and interprofessional collaboration helps to meet some of these expectations while introducing best practice techniques for meeting patient health and safety goals. Additionally, an IPE/telesimulation scenario provides current and accessible interprofessional teaching-learning experiences to faculty and students alike. Following our simulations, students have reported enhanced knowledge of other professions and improvement in their collaborative skills. Again, we will have more specific data to share about our student outcomes during the accreditation conference.

FranU FNP and dietetic intern students collaborating on a patient case with a telemedicine cart

In the picture above, you can see FranU FNP and dietetic intern students collaborating on a patient case with a telemedicine cart. We have discovered that Zoom works just as well, so having access to a telemedicine cart is not essential to the implementation of this scenario. In a nutshell, this student experience is achievable within any graduate nursing program, and we would love to help you implement something similar at your graduate nursing school. Whether you are a nurse educator new to accreditation or an expert, this graduate student scenario is easily adapted to work with other clinical programs and to help meet your program’s needs. So, look for us on the agenda, and we will look forward to reaching new heights with you at the 2022 Nursing Education Accreditation Conference!

Author Information

Kristin Martin can be reached via email at [email protected].