The nursing faculty of Davis & Elkins College recently presented the school's new, innovative nursing curriculum at the 2012 Quality and Safety Education for Nurses National Forum, a nursing curriculum conference in Tucson, Ariz.
This followed a major update to the associate degree nursing curriculum at Davis & Elkins College based on the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses initiative supported nationally by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The presentation was authored by the entire nursing faculty and presented by Dr. Carol Cochran, professor of nursing and director of the nursing program at Davis & Elkins College; and Denice Reese, associate professor of nursing. Other members of the faculty are Lora Cruz, assistant professor; Melissa McCoy, associate professor; Karen Seel, assistant professor; Christina Swecker, associate professor; and Threasia Witt, professor.
The topic of the presentation was "The Development of an Associate Degree Nursing Curriculum based on a QSEN Competencies Framework." The QSEN project identifies six competencies that nurses need to deliver safe, high-quality patient care. These competencies are patient-centered care; teamwork and collaboration; evidence-based practice; quality improvement; safety; and informatics. Development of these competencies in nursing students requires that they acquire knowledge, master skills and develop attitudes related to the delivery of safe and high-quality patient care.
Using the QSEN competencies and the National League for Nursing core values, the Davis & Elkins College nursing faculty has created a robust and creative curriculum. The logistics of how the new curriculum was developed was the focus of the faculty's presentation at the conference.
"The QSEN concepts are infused into every facet of the new curriculum. Not one aspect of the curriculum was left untouched," Cochran said. "The overhaul began with rethinking and rewriting the vision, mission and philosophy statements. It progressed through complete reformulation of courses, including adding two courses in management of care and a course in gerontology. Work included a complete structural revision of course content outlines, daily content outlines and learning objectives and development of clinical assessment tools. Finally, graduate and program outcomes were aligned with the structure and goals of the curriculum."
The Davis & Elkins College Associate Degree Nursing curriculum is designed to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to provide safe, high-quality nursing care to patients, families and others throughout life in a variety of settings. The new curriculum was introduced on campus in the fall of 2011.
Duane Napier of the West Virginia Center for Nursing said, "Dr. Cochran and Davis & Elkins College nursing faculty are putting West Virginia on the map regarding innovative nursing curriculum development, especially when it comes to the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses initiative."
Donna Ignatavicius, a nationally acclaimed nursing curriculum consultant and renowned nursing textbook author, attended the presentation.
"I worked with the faculty at D&E on their curriculum revision," Ignatavicius said. "They were enthusiastic in our work together and I was very excited to see that they were presenting at the QSEN Conference. Their presentation elaborated very clearly how the QSEN competencies could come alive within a pre-licensure curriculum and it was well-received by the conference attendees. I am proud to have been a part of their work."
In addition to the presentation, the faculty also displayed a poster on the meaning of QSEN. The poster was developed by lead author, Hillary Sparks, with contributions from Christopher Reece, Misti Elmore, Samantha Cross and Kristin Justice, all 2012 graduates of the associate degree nursing program at D&E.
The conference was organized by the University of North Carolina's Center for Lifelong Learning and the UNC School of Nursing and was supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The conference was attended by more than 400 nursing faculty from across the country.
More information about the D&E Department of Nursing is available by calling 304-637-1375.