Implementation of an Innovative Masters Level Nursing Program to Enhance the Nurse Educator Role

Tuesday, November 3, 2009: 3:25 PM

Charlene Gyurko, PhD, RN, CNE
Leslie Rittenmeyer, PsyD, CNS, RN
School of Nursing, Purdue University Calumet/Indiana Center for Evidence Based Nursing Practice, Hammond, IN

Learning Objective 1: obtain a blue print design for implementing an innovative online program.

Learning Objective 2: receive information on writing a successful HRSA grant.

The numbers of Registered Nurses preparing for an educator role at a masters level has decreased. In 2003 only 5.5% of all masters level nursing programs reported enrollment in the educator pathway (Valiga, 2004). In an AACN (2007) survey on vacant full-time faculty positions for the academic year 2007-2008 it was found that 71.3% of the survey respondents reported having faulty vacancies that were difficult to fill. The purpose of this paper is to discuss an innovative online educational program that was implemented after becoming the recipients of a HRSA grant. This program eliminates time and space barriers that often make pursuing advanced practice nursing education difficult. What makes this program unique is the incorporation of special features that support and enhance student learning. Comprehensive orientation to the technology is a mandatory activity prior to taking the first course. An iPod is given to each student at the time of acceptance into the program. Podcasts are developed by faculty to allow for personalized real time learning. A counselor support system has been incorporated to give the students an avenue to address program, course and personal concerns. An Ask the Geek link has been implemented to give the students real time computer support throughout the semester. Initial evaluation indicates a high level of satisfaction of the program.

American Association of Colleges of Nursing . (2007). Nursing shortage: Fact sheet. Retrieved October 29, 2007      from

Valiga, T. (2004, September). The nursing faculty shortage: A national perspective. Paper presented as a Congressional Briefing by the A.N.S.R. Alliance Hart Senate Office Building Washington, DC.