226 - Leveraging an Academic-private Partnership to Combat the Current and Predicted Perioperative Nursing Shortage
Description: Clinical Issue OR nursing shortage. Description of team: A team was formed with representatives from Community Health Network (CHNw) & University of Indianapolis (UIndy). CHNw representatives included the VP, Clinical Performance, the Quality Director and two Regulatory Compliance Coordinators; UIndy representatives included an Assistant Professor and the Undergraduate Program Director/Assistant Professor. Preparation and planning: The team analyzed course objectives & content related to perioperative nursing in the current curriculum. The opportunity and desire to offer perioperative content to undergraduate students was identified. Various forms of possible course and clinical implementations were explored. Decisions were made to pilot the course as a 7 week summer elective. Resources were contributed by both institutions.
Assessment: Surgery departments are experiencing an increase in surgical volume and a predicted nursing shortage. This creates a major challenge to hospital administrators and significantly impacts the perioperative nursing specialty. Lack of exposure to perioperative nursing in undergraduate curricula demands innovative solutions to address this crisis and ensure adequate perioperative patient safety. Current nursing students were surveyed to identify and gauge interest in a perioperative summer elective. Implementation: Students were recruited, UIndy and CHNw permissions were obtained. UIndy faculty created the course curriculum in conjunction with the AORN Perioperative Fundamentals course and CHNw guidance. The Fundamentals of Perioperative Nursing Practice elective piloted Summer, 2019. CHNw and UIndy educators partnered to jointly teach the course. Student expectations and perceptions were assessed pre & post survey. Outcome: Feedback suggests exposure to the perioperative nursing as part of undergrad curricula is an educational, rewarding, and positive experience. Subjective data: student feedback and high-level engagement of all six students in both the simulation environment and the in-hospital clinical experiences. Objective data: quiz scores (standardized on-line curriculum), pre/post course results, and course evaluations. Implications for perioperative nursing: The elective course creates greater undergraduate student exposure to the role of the perioperative registered nurse while developing a workforce pipeline. This can help students broaden their perspective and identify/solidify an interest in the specialty. Utilizing a standardized, evidence-based, on-line curriculum to introduce a student nurse to the perioperative specialty may help facilitate transition to practice upon hire into the perioperative environment for the novice nurse. Clear expectations and insight into the specialty may create a perioperative nurse pipeline for the institution, help identify employee-unit fit (increase new-hire retention), and decrease turn-over.