Preferred Educational Methods of RN's With More Than Ten Years of Inactive Patient Care

Sunday, 8 November 2015: 4:20 PM

Annette A. Cannon, PhD, MA, MSN, RN
Platt College School of Nursing, Aurora, CO, USA

     The Colorado State Board of Nursing rules and regulations provide a policy that states that “if you do not have an active license in another state and all of your licenses have been expired two (2) years or more, you must demonstrate competency to practice by successfully completing refresher courses as defined in Nursing - Board Rule 5.6” (CSBON, 2015). According to this policy, the competency is derived from completing an RN refresher program. The objective of this paper is to further define competency through testing RN’s with inactive patient care of more than 10 years, who are enrolled in the online program that contains a hands-on skills lab compared to those who are enrolled in the online program only. This proposal, through solution and problem description, implementation, evaluation and monitoring, will present three levels of testing. These exams are given to gain baseline knowledge from students, knowledge after the online learning portion is finished and knowledge after the skills lab and online are finished. A comparison study of sample students will be reviewed as part of the decision-making. The results of the study and its outcomes will be shared with other educational institutions and state boards of nursing throughout the United States. The desired outcomes are to develop guidelines within Colleges and Universities for admission to the RN refresher program and to implement this evidence-based proposal as a nursing policy within the Colorado State Board of Nursing. 

The implementation of this study consists of four main steps. “These organized methods will follow a specific procedure to study the issues, therefore lending to the idea that the results will be more accurate and are not influenced by opinion or belief” (Potter, 1995, p265). First, the specific population will be identified. The study will be conducted over one year time. Second, the nurses will be divided into two sample groups, for comparison purposes. Third, the demographic data of participants will be identified and posted as student plus their zip code. The variables will include age, sex, years since graduation, years since last practiced, total years of practice prior to inactivity, level of nursing degree, ages of children at home, and other non-nursing work that will be reviewed to see if there are other variables that need to be considered. Fourth, the instrument will be a pre-refresher test given to all participants at the beginning of the program, with the same test given mid-way through and then another test as the final. Other methods of data collection may be reviewed for use in future research. 

Proposed study in progress, with results pending. 

In conclusion, continued nursing research is a critical component to the survival of the nursing profession. According to IOM report (2011), “nursing education must be fundamentally improved both before and after nurses receive their licenses”. The influence of research on nursing education and nursing practice is immense and will forever change the overall advancements of the nurse. Conducting studies will allow the use of evidence-based research to make the needed adjustments and changes necessary for the ongoing improvement of nursing. This study will address the preferred learning needs of nurses who are returning to nursing practice after being inactive more than ten years. By sharing these learning experiences with others, changes and improvements can be made to nursing education. By sharing the outcomes, the opportunity is set forth for further research and to eventually make a difference in the nursing profession as a whole.