Aligning an Online Educational Activity With QSEN Competencies to Bridge the Leadership Practice Gap

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Sarah E. Abel, MSN, RN, CEN
Education Department, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Indianapolis, IN, USA
Matthew S. Howard, MSN, RN, CPN, CPEN, CEN
Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Indianapolis, IN, USA
Elizabeth A. Madigan, PhD, RN, FAAN
Executive Suite, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Indianapolis, IN, USA

Nurses commonly leave a department or organization because of leadership. This adds to the nursing shortage. Nurse leaders may move into leadership with little to no experience or training in a leadership role. If nurses are not adequately equipped with a foundation in leading quality and safety in the healthcare system this could lead to frustration, turnover, and poor patient outcomes.

Module Objectives:

  • Identify the critical dimensions of strategic planning.
  • Compare and contrast the attributes of successful and unsuccessful strategic planning initiatives.
  • Propose potential sources of evidence for assistance with strategic planning and program development decision making.
  • Develop a strategic planning document that reflects the key dimensions of an organization’s vision, mission, and values statements.


  • Research was conducted to develop a core content outline.
  • QSEN and AONE competencies acted as a framework for the content outline development and then each section or module of the program was mapped to the appropriate competency.
  • Content experts authored presentations and then the Sigma education team developed the content into an interactive learning program.
  • Entire program was then peer-reviewed by an expert in nursing leadership, known as a Program Editor.
  • This process validated the relevance of the content in current practice and alignment with competencies as the framework.
  • Facilitator’s Guide was developed to allow faculty to visualize the program alignment with competencies, content of program, and faculty led discussion questions and activities.
  • Learner Development Plan and pre-and post-assessments were developed as part of the program to measure the learner’s growth.


  • Increase learning and be effective means of providing leadership training.
  • Program evaluations reflect 93% of responses agreed that the courses were beneficial.
  • 91% of responses said the program would help them in their practice and was an effective learning method.
  • Pre/post-assessment is generated from a test bank.
  • Utilization of the QSEN and AONE competencies as a framework for an online learning program related to nurse manager knowledge, skills and attitudes is beneficial and innovative in bridging the practice gap.


  • Development of sustainable training methods for nurse leaders is imperative.
  • Training offered as asynchronous learner-paced education to effectively utilize education budgets and restrictions.
  • Evidence-based, peer-reviewed leadership training that bridges the practice gap is essential to creating equipped leaders.
See more of: Invited Posters
See more of: Invited Posters