RN Critical Care Residency for Urban and Rural Hospitals

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Dianne M. Ross, PhD, RN
Center for Nursing Research & Innovation, Florida Hospital Medical Center, Orlando, FL

Learning Objective 1: describe the framework for an adult critical care residency program delivering distance education from an electronic platform.

Learning Objective 2: discuss the impact of distance learning education on the urban, rural, and global nursing workforce pipeline


The global nursing shortage continues to impact healthcare systems around the world (Oulton, 2006). In the United States, shortage is daunting in critical care units—highly technical environments serving the most vulnerable of patients where nurses must be equipped with advanced specialty skills (Florida Hospital Association, 2005). Florida Hospital Medical Center is expanding the adult critical care residency program beyond traditional classroom boundaries through electronic distance learning technology to >500 graduate, transfer, and re-entry nurses within the Adventist Health System (AHS).

Methods: Residents complete 60 hours of didactic curriculum based on the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) core curriculum and National League for Nursing (NLN) continuing education standards. Formalized modules prepare experienced RNs for preceptor and mentor roles.  Research design and analysis includes descriptive, summative and quantitative comparisons of module test scores, Basic Knowledge Assessment Test (BKAT), clinical performance, confidence, satisfaction, and mentoring surveys.  Patient quality indicators are tracked for outcomes.
Results: This program provides education in-time giving all participants flexibility to start any time of year, expanding capacity and accelerating educating, training, and mentoring. A total of 373 registered nurses have enrolled, with 346 demonstrating completion or successful progress on all measures. Greater than 173 preceptors and 157 mentors have received formalized education. Baseline indicators for patients remain stable; curriculum is meeting educational objectives and providing quality care.
Conclusion: Support is provided through June 2010 from the Division of Nursing (DN), Bureau of Health Professionals (BHPr), Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) under grant number D11HP08321 and title Nurse Education Practice and Retention for $925,360. The information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by the DN, BHPr, DHHS, or the U.S. Government.