Enhancing Gerontology Content in Canadian Nursing Education Through Knowledge Translation

Tuesday, 23 July 2013: 2:10 PM

Lynn McCleary, RN, BScN, MSc, PhD
Department of Nursing, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON, Canada
Veronique Boscart, RN, MScN, MEd, PhD
Schlegel-University of Waterloo Research Institute for Aging (RIA), Conestoga College Institute of Technology, Kitchener, ON, Canada
Katherine S. McGilton, RN, PhD
Research, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Learning Objective 1: Describe the curricular outcomes of formal knowledge exchange and transfer to nursing faculty and trainees.

Learning Objective 2: Rescribe barriers and facilitators to gerontological curricular enhancement in entry to practice nursing education.

Purpose: In Canada there is an urgent need to enhance gerontological content in entry to practice nursing education. This study examined the immediate and one year outcomes of Canadian Knowledge Exchange Institutes for Nursing Education.

Methods: The Knowledge Exchange Institutes were based in Graham and colleagues’ (2006) Knowledge-to-Action process model. They engaged 49 nursing faculty and PhD students from across Canada in the process of curriculum review and enhancement. Participants were given extensive knowledge products for integration in courses. They developed strategies to enhance courses and engage their colleagues in curriculum revision and enhancement. The impact was evaluated immediately after the institutes (quantitative questionnaires) and one year later (questionnaires and qualitative interviews). Descriptive statistical analyses and content analyses of the interview data were conducted.

Results: The pre-institute exercise of evaluating courses and curriculum against established gerontological nursing competencies was rated as very helpful. Participants reported having met personal goals and having concrete plans to integrate knowledge products in courses and disseminate learning to their colleagues. One year later, all participants reported having used the knowledge products (in courses with a total enrollment of 1600 students). The products were very feasible to integrate into classroom teaching (70%) and clinical teaching (43%). All participants disseminated knowledge products to colleagues. Common barriers to integration in curriculum were: negative perceptions of faculty colleagues, impending curricular revisions, and lack of confidence of colleagues to use gerontological resources in their teaching.

Conclusion: The Knowledge-to-Action process model was an effective way to organize the institutes. It helped participants create workable plans for change. The institutes were successful for participants. Ongoing support may be necessary to spread learning to their faculty colleagues and sustain curricular enhancement.