Advocating and Sustaining Lifelong Learning Through a Center of Excellence Approach

Monday, 30 October 2017

Carol Boswell, EdD, RN, CNE, ANEF, FAAN
Sharon Cannon, EdD, RN, ANEF
School of Nursing, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Odessa, TX, USA

The term "Center of Excellence" (COE) is used to designate a group or team organized toward addressing a distinct sphere of focus, such as a technology, skill or discipline (Haughn, 2015). Within the evolving world of healthcare, COEs have developed to address health issues and attempt to close the research/practice gaps identified. An overview of the values associated with COEs along with key concepts and models used within COEs will be provided. Centers of Excellence can be developed to address any sphere of focus that is paramount within health care and/or the area.

A school of nursing in West Texas conceived the Center of Excellence in Evidence-Based Practice (CEEBP) to address innovative strategies to bridge the practice/research gaps, establish relationships to address the nursing and community workforce needs, and supports the connectiveness between different groups. Many approaches have been used such as continuing education events, evidence-based practice opportunities, mentorship measures, and consultation endeavors to develop a COE that is sustainable while advocating for knowledge transformation and lifelong learning within the healthcare community. This presentation will present various exemplars of tactics which can be employed to address the challenges encountered by the nursing professional and communities (Price, 2014). Patterns will be discussed related to reasonable and practical tactics for managing the challenges encountered in the work environment by healthcare providers and communities interested in addressing their health environments. The examples will embrace the expectation that networking is required to embody the local, state, and national community of healthcare, especially within the area of evidence-based practice. Mentoring and partnerships are key to ensuring the sustainability.

From this discussion and examples, the participants will be challenged to envision the use of COEs as a fresh and inventive measure for addressing a wide range of healthcare concerns and settings. The inclination for partnerships with community organizations will be championed to expound schemes which can be customized for integration into other settings.