VA Nursing Academy: Enhancing Academic Partnerships Program
Oklahoma City Veterans Affairs Medical Center
& the University of Oklahoma College of Nursing
April 23, 2008
TRANSITION TO PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE
HISTORY OF RELATIONSHIP.
The Oklahoma City Veterans Affairs Medical Center (OKCVAMC) and the University of Oklahoma College of Nursing (OUCN) have enjoyed a strong partnership for many years. Current areas for collaboration include the development of the Clinical Nurse Leader master’s in nursing program, evidence-based practice endeavors through the Joanna Briggs Institute of Oklahoma: Evidence Based Practice Center (JBIO), and the provision of continuing education and leadership development programs through the University of Oklahoma Nursing Education Consortium. The Transition to Professional Practice (TPP) program provides a mechanism to meet the long term objectives of this proposal which are as follows: (1) to increase the number of well-qualified, baccalaureate (BSN) prepared registered nurses in Oklahoma, and (2) increase the OKCVAMC’s ability to recruit BSN prepared professional nurses with enhanced critical thinking, clinical reasoning, and judgment skills as well as retain those nurses for the care of the nation’s Veterans.
PROPOSED PARTNERSHIP. The Transition to Professional Practice (TPP) program is proposed as a seamless transition from beginning nursing student (junior year) through the end of the first year of professional practice as a registered nurse. The seamless transition is composed of four phases focused on providing the student with professional tools to become successful as a registered nurse and dedicated to the care of our Veteran population. During Phase I of the TPP program, 20 junior students will enter the VANA cohort. The first semester clinical rotation and the medical-surgical component of second semester clinical will be completed at OKCVAMC. Phase II of the TPP program is a summer nurse externship component that occurs during the summer between the junior and senior year (ten weeks). This is a paid externship providing the student with a concentrated clinical experience with a preceptor as well as didactic content focusing on pertinent aspects of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) core competencies (e.g. quality improvement efforts, evidence-based practice projects). During Phase III of the TPP program, the VANA cohort will complete all senior clinical experiences at the OKCVAMC. Phase IV involves the Nurse Residency component which will be adapted from the Nurse Residency program recently developed by OUCN. Near the end of the senior year, the VANA cohort students will be given the opportunity to apply for the 12-month VANA Nurse Residency component with first preference for a position. This is a paid nurse residency program that will begin after graduation. The curriculum for all components of the TPP program will be developed based on the five IOM core competencies. At the beginning of the TPP program, students will be introduced to evidence-based practice (EBP) in the clinical setting and will continue to expand their knowledge of EBP and involvement in EBP projects throughout the program. Additionally, students may participate as observers on nursing committees or interdisciplinary teamwork initiatives, participate in quality improvement projects (e.g. safety and quality projects), and other projects related to their learning needs and the five IOM core competencies. FACULTY RESPONSIBILITIES. During Phase I and Phase III, VA-based faculty will provide all clinical instruction with the exception of maternal-child health. OUCN-based faculty will provide training and support for VA-based faculty. Additionally, OUCN-based faculty will provide course-coordination/administration and didactic instruction. VA-based and OUCN-based faculty will jointly participate in the development and implementation of the Nurse Externship component, the training of Extern preceptors, and facilitation of student projects (evidence-based practice or quality improvement). Members of the VA nursing staff will serve as preceptors and VA-based faculty will provide preceptor support. VA-based and OUCN-based faculty will jointly participate in the development and implementation of the Nurse Residency component, the training of Resident Mentors, and facilitation of Nurse Resident projects (evidence-based practice or quality improvement). Members of the VA nursing staff will serve as Resident Mentors.
VA-BASED FACULTY TRAINING. A two-day workshop for novice faculty will be tailored to meet the needs of VA-based faculty. The workshop, "Taking the next step: Preparation for a Nursing Adjunct Faculty Role" is currently offered by OUCN to the community and will be expanded for this program from the two-day workshop to also include online components. The course will be provided to VA-based faculty through face-to-face presentation/discussion and through an online course site. VA-based faculty will be assigned an OUCN-based faculty member as a mentor so that the new faculty will have a resource for questions and discussion of teaching issues as they arise. VA-based faculty will also complete the online course "Evidence-based Practice for Clinical Nurses" as well as take advantage of ongoing staff development opportunities offered at OUCN.