Category Archives: Evaluating Innovations in Nursing Education

Jun 20 2014

The DEU as a Response to the Nurse Faculty Shortage

Janet M. Banks, MSN, RNC, is an instructor and clinical faculty at the University of Portland, a recipient of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Evaluating Innovations in Nursing Education grant. She is working on her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree at Case Western Reserve University, with a focus on nursing clinical education.

Janet Banks

It’s no secret that there’s a serious shortage of nursing faculty in the United States. This problem will result in schools of nursing educating too few nurses to meet the growing demand for these health care professionals. One solution to this vexing problem is to increase the number of Dedicated Education Units, or DEUs, to increase faculty capacity.

Chances are good that if you are reading this blog, you know what a DEU is. But, for the sake of being on the same page, it is a collaboration between a nursing unit and an academic institution such as a school of nursing. Often referred to as an academic-service partnership, the school of nursing provides students as well as faculty who are experts in teaching. The nursing unit provides a culture that supports learning, as well as expert nurses to act as teachers.

The students, nurses, and faculty usually work in a ratio of two students to each nurse, with the faculty supporting the nurse as teacher and supporting the student’s professional development.

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Oct 24 2012

EIN Presentation: Clinical Simulation

A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Evaluating Innovations in Nursing Education program (EIN) grantee team from the New York University College of Nursing, along with their collaborating partner at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, will give a presentation at the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s Fall semi-annual meeting in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, October 30.

Investigators Hila Richardson, DrPH, Lloyd A. Goldsamt, PhD, and Pamela Jeffries, PhD, will discuss findings related to the impact of simulation on use of faculty resources, whether simulation should replace traditional clinical hours, and models of effective integration into the curriculum.

The session, "Clinical Simulation: Issues, Outcomes, Challenges and Future Directions," is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Learn more about the meeting.

Aug 7 2012

Explore Findings from Survey on Nurse Faculty Work-Life

How do nurse faculty members spend their time?  How do they assess key aspects of their work-life?
In 2010 the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Evaluating Innovations in Nursing Education program (EIN) conducted a nationwide survey of full-time nurse faculty focusing on their employment characteristics, workloads and attitudes toward work-life. More than 3,000 respondents completed the survey, answering questions about more than 60 characteristics of work-life.
Now, using an online tool—the Nurse Faculty Query (NuFAQs)—you can search the survey results. The interactive tool allows you to customize the findings to suit your interests in faculty with particular backgrounds or rank, in specific settings or circumstances.
To see a brief demonstration and begin using this resource, click here.
Read more about NuFAQs in the latest issue of Sharing Nursing’s Knowledge.

Mar 8 2012

Human Capital News Roundup

Around the country, the news media is covering the groundbreaking work of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation scholars, fellows and grantees. Some recent examples:

The New York Times reports on a study co-authored by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Health Policy Fellows alumnus Danny McCormick, MD, MPH, that finds doctors using electronic patient records order many more tests than doctors relying on paper records. The story also quotes RWJF Investigator Award in Health Policy Research recipient David Blumenthal, MD, MPP, the country’s former national coordinator for health IT, who co-authored a study last year that found the majority of recent literature on electronic health records in professional journals is “’positive overall’ about the prospect that technology would improve the efficiency and quality of care.”

Medscape reports on an article by RWJF Clinical Scholars program alumna Raina Merchant, MD, MSHP, and RWJF Health & Society Scholars site director David Asch, MD, MBA, about the MyHeartMap Challenge [free subscription]. The Challenge is a pilot study to create a searchable map of all of Philadelphia's automated external defibrillators (AEDs), so that they can be found and used in emergencies by health professionals and the public. Read a post Merchant wrote about the MyHeartMap Challenge for the RWJF Human Capital Blog.

David Asch was also in the news commenting on a study that finds fewer medical residents are prescribing themselves allergy medications, antidepressants or other drugs than in the past. Asch co-authored a study in 1998 that found more than half of young physicians at the time had self-prescribed; the new study finds a decline to only 11 percent. Asch spoke to Reuters about the findings.

Michael Bleich, RN, PhD, FAAN, an alumnus of the RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows program and member of the RWJF Initiative on the Future of Nursing committee, at the Institute of Medicine, offered tips for nurses going back to school to pursue advanced degrees in a story for also reports on a study funded by RWJF’s Evaluating Innovations in Nursing Education (EIN) program, which examined the use of high-fidelity human patient simulation as a supplement to traditional teaching at a school with a nurse faculty shortage.

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Aug 23 2011

A Model for Transforming Nursing Education

By Lori Melichar, Ph.D., M.A.
Senior Program Officer, Research and Evaluation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation


I recently attended a National League for Nursing meeting of top nursing researchers, educators and leaders. Among the purposes of the meeting was to identify gaps in and opportunities to create knowledge to improve nursing education.

While meeting participants discussed several exciting efforts currently underway to improve nursing education, journal editors attending lamented the fact that most of the published research on nursing education innovations is based on single-site studies, making it unlikely to convince faculty to adopt new models of education or change core curriculum. The editors, educators and researchers agreed that research linking teaching methods and curricular content to patient outcomes would bolster efforts to transform patient care in the U.S. Evidence in this area is crucial because curricula are packed, faculty are overworked, change takes effort, and students don't always know what's best for them.

Producing more rigorous evidence is a strategy I often support as a member of the department of research and evaluation at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). The Research Initiative component of the Campaign for Action, along with the Foundation's Evaluating Innovations in Nursing Education Program, will seek funding for studies of educational innovation over the next couple of years. It occurred to me that a strategy that might be more successful in the goal of quickly transforming nursing education falls out of the Foundation's flagship nursing program, Transforming Care at the Bedside (TCAB).

I was a part of the team from RWJF and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) that developed the TCAB program that taught front-line nurses and their managers the skills and methods of continuous quality improvement, and inspired and empowered them to make changes to transform care at the bedside. The idea was that, though evidence should always be considered when it exists, there are things one can try to improve outcomes that matter, without first proving effectiveness.

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