Albert Einstein is credited with saying, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” These times require that we discover creative strategies on how we can continue to provide the highest quality education to our students. As a partner for colleges and universities delivering high-quality nursing programs, Synergis Education has expertise and resources to assist institutions in addressing these emerging challenges.
As we talk with our partners and with nursing educators nationwide, we are aware that the COVID-19 crisis is placing unprecedented strain on our society. The higher education sector is being challenged to find ways to continue to provide access to students in a way that is not only sensitive to public health issues but also maintains both efficiency and academic quality.
For nursing programs in particular, the challenges are robust. The purely academic content of nursing pre-licensure programs is significant and requires great instructional skill. In addition, the nature of nursing itself requires physical interaction with patients, so clinical training and experience forms a central part of training for aspiring nurses.
In our discussions with partners, we have developed an overarching strategy to assist program directors and faculty to evaluate program content and shape strategies for educational delivery. There are immediate challenges as institutions work to adapt courses to online delivery. For nursing licensure programs, an even greater hurdle is how to provide vital clinical skills training in an online learning environment. This issue needs immediate attention as students on the cusp of graduation, as well as students continuing in the pre-licensure nursing program, do not want their education and future career plans to be derailed. As the medical and social situation becomes clearer, academic leaders may well need to consider ways in which existing curricula can be restructured and sequenced. Finally, the challenges we face may require a long-term change in the ways in which we design and deliver programs.
In practical and immediate terms, Synergis is…
- Assisting our partners to convert courses to online delivery modalities through faculty webinars exploring best practices in online education.
- Providing resources on assessment strategies for new delivery modalities.
- Collecting and disseminating resources for nursing programs such as:
- State regulations on clinical hours for nursing licensure most relevant to our partners
- Statement Regarding Nurse Practitioner Students and Direct Care Clinical Hours
- Virtual simulation resources:
- Other resources such as the California Simulation Alliance
We will continue to update and expand our assistance to our partner institutions. We are convinced that our joint expertise and commitment to higher education will ensure that these students continue to have access to high-quality educational programs.