VA Nursing Academy: Enhancing Academic Partnerships
Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital (Hines) and the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, Loyola University Chicago (MNSON) have had a continuing and long standing academic affiliation for student learning experiences and have partnered several times in the past in developing and implementing innovative educational opportunities. Hines and MNSON, mutually desiring to strengthen their partnership, have collaborated to create a model that fosters greater involvement of Hines nursing staff in MNSON activities, greater involvement of MNSON faculty in activities of the Hines Nursing Service and a joint-proposed nursing center for education, practice and research. Positions funded through the VA Nursing Academy will be used to support:
Expected outcomes of our model include:
MNSON traditionally has accepted generic students into lower division coursework during the fall semester of each year. Applicants with an AD in another field or 60 credit hours from a 4-year college/university have rarely been accepted into upper division coursework. There has been an increase in inquires from AD graduates and/or transfer students seeking admission into upper division coursework. Expansion of the MNSON baccalaureate enrollment will occur by matriculating 20 AD graduate or transfer applicants into junior level coursework during the spring and fall semesters of each year starting January 2009. Hines-based faculty will be involved in the clinical education of each of these cohorts starting with the first semester, junior year. Hines faculty will also assist in the clinical education of other groups of MNSON students rotating through Hines. Hines will also propose to expand its VA Learning Opportunities Residency (VALOR) program to increase the specialty programs offered and when feasible, combine with academic credit from MNSON.
Hines and MNSON will initiate the Center during the first year of the grant. Faculty/staff from both sites will become involved in research related to mental health and quality of life concepts and the implementation of evidence-based practice at Hines. A MNSON faculty member will conduct a creative pedagogy study at Hines. Students in two mental health clinical rotations will be partnered with acute care nurses caring for patients with complex physical conditions who also have mental health needs. Students will focus on addressing mental health needs and assist the nurse with physical care of the patient.
Hines and MNSON faculty will partner to establish a Nurse Residency Program (NRP) at Hines in concert with the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education's proposed Standards for Accreditation of Post-baccalaureate Nurse Residency Programs. Since MNSON would be graduating students both in May and December, at least two cohorts of NRP per year will eventually be possible. As Hines travels on its journey to excellence in achieving Magnet status, offering a NRP will assist in the recruitment and retention of new graduates who will be prepared to incorporate research-based evidence into their practice and advance safe, high-quality nursing.
MNSON will modify a graduate course on teaching nursing that it offers for Hines-based faculty. Clinical instructors will complete a 45 content hour course prior to their first clinical assignment. A 25 content hour course will be provided for Hines BSN prepared staff who will act as preceptors or lab instructors.
Roles/responsibilities of Hines faculty include:
Roles/responsibilities of MNSON faculty include: