Sunday, November 4, 2007

This presentation is part of : Innovations in Teaching Nursing
Partnerships for RN to BSN Education: Process and Outcomes
Katharine C. Cook, PhD, RN, Nursing, College of Notre Dame of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, USA
Learning Objective #1: identify the process, advantages and limitations of college-hospital partnerships for the delivery of an accelerated RN to BSN program.
Learning Objective #2: discuss significant outcomes of an accelerated RN to BSN program.

Purpose: Research studies, such as those by Linda Aiken, have demonstrated that registered nurses educated at the baccalaureate level improve patient outcomes post operatively and decrease the incidence in failure to rescue. As hospitals seek magnet status and incorporate clinical ladders with educational requirements for promotion, the majority of registered nurses continue to be educated at the associate degree level. An innovative approach to RN to BSN education that is convenient and predictable yet rigorous is needed for these nurses to continue their education. This presentation will address the process and outcomes of a unique college/hospital partnership to deliver an accelerated RN to BSN program at the practice site.

Process: The process includes setting up partnerships; collaborating with faculty from different departments to design all courses, including general education, science, and nursing, in an accelerated format; module development; and the role of a curriculum specialist. To date, 14 hospital partners with over 350 total RN students have joined with a college since 2003 to support and fund nurses completing their baccalaureate degrees. Cohorts of 20 students progress through the program completing all requirements for the BSN in two-and-a-half years. All classes without lab components are delivered at the partner hospital. The strengths and challenges of this education model will be discussed and critiqued.

Outcomes: Program outcomes will be presented on ten nursing cohorts who graduated in 2006. Significant results on pre-and-post California Critical Thinking Skills Tests (CCTST) will be presented. The influence of such variables as GPA and age on CCTST scores will also be discussed.  In addition, results from Graduate Exit Surveys, including student satisfaction, job promotions, engagement in scholarly activities and retention rates will be critiqued. An opportunity for audience questions about setting up academic/service partnerships for RN to BSN education will be included.