Rapid Curricular Innovation Using Lean Methodology

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Jennifer L. Embree, DNP, RN, NE-BC, CCNS
Nursing, Eskenazi Health, Indianapolis, IN, USA

Today’s rapidly evolving healthcare environments converging with faculty shortages has the potential to compromise faculty’s ability to stay abreast with needed curricular enhancements. The proliferation of doctor of nursing practice (DNP) programs has driven faculty to re-examine the focus for the school of nursing DNP Program. Established with previous grant funding, the DNP program was focused on providing a doctorate level program for nurse practitioners. As the program struggled with enrollment, we looked to clinical partners for assistance. Interviewing chief nursing officers helped identify gaps in the (DNP) curriculum and the transformational leadership skills needed in the current healthcare environment. Since curriculum revision in academia typically involves lengthy discourse, faculty with business acumen sought a faster mechanism to rapid curriculum change. The LEAN methodology was chosen for curriculum improvement. Lean is defined as mazimizing customer value while minimizing waste and using fewer resources (Catt, 2014). Creating processes that need less human effort, space, capital and time with less defects and variability is also a benefit of LEAN. The categorized responses from the chief nursing officers were compared to the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE, 2011) and the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE, 2015) competency categories, and were identified as primary and sub-categories. The sub-categories were rank ordered by how many times they came up in the interviews. A stakeholder assessment was completed to identify necessary participants. Inviting selected stakeholders and led by a chief nursing officer, LEAN methodology guided curriculum transformation. Goals were established for the LEAN project. Curriculum revision was required to meet the community needs. The agreed upon goal was to redesign the DNP Program to proactively meet the current and anticipated future demands for transformational nursing leaders. A new project model and needed curricular enhancements were identified. Course sequence was established. Course modifications were identified. Items for faculty retreat discussion were established. The curriculum was revised using LEAN methodology.