Covid-19: Creating innovations in nursing practice and education
New free resources from the experts at Lippincott
In periods of change and unrest, innovation is born out of necessity in order to adapt to evolving circumstances and survive.
Covid-19 has been one of the biggest change agents in global healthcare. In three short months the world went from being aware of the new novel virus to facing a global pandemic. Nursing practice and education had to react quickly with new, innovative ways of addressing the new paradigm in healthcare.
In this email, part of our “2020 Year of the Nurse” series, I wanted to share what the team at Lippincott and Wolters Kluwer has observed in practice and education settings and offer you new resources to share best practices that can help you face the challenges ahead.
Impact on practice
Emergency departments, long-term care facilities, and primary care offices were overwhelmed with patients exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19. Healthcare systems had to quickly develop surge plans to accommodate the increased number of critically ill patients. Repurposing beds, developing alternative models of care such as moving from a primary nurse model to a team model of care, had to be done quickly. In addition, non-critical care nurses had to be rapidly onboarded and trained to work on critical care teams and care for patients.
While this approach worked well for the initial surge, healthcare organizations quickly realized that to ensure agility and efficiency in the workforce, those very nurses would need to be fully cross trained to critical care so the workforce would be ready for the next surge. Telehealth became the method of choice for ensuring patient’s access to care.
Undergraduate nursing education had to quickly shift from in person education to a fully remote model. Many students missed in person clinical experience and educators rose to the occasion and increased their virtual simulation activities so that nursing students still had realistic clinical encounters that enhanced their critical thinking and clinical judgement skills.
The newly graduated nursing students are now being hired by healthcare facilities; however, some of those students are lacking skills necessary to be confident and competent in practice. Academia is now partnering with practice settings to learn what the graduates are missing and incorporate those skills into the simulation lab experience. Practice settings are overhauling their orientation and onboarding programs to ensure new graduate students have the skills they need to be successful in practice.
In Q1 2020, we surveyed nursing faculty and hiring nurses to ask: do you think new nurses are ready for practice? In this new report, Closing the Education-Practice Gap: Building Confidence + Competence, we outline where perception gaps exist and outline concrete, practical steps that can help bridge the gaps and strengthen the partnership between academia and practice.
While Covid-19 has certainly been a disruptor in healthcare, nursing practice and educational settings have demonstrated their agility and risen to the challenge with innovations that will surely stay in this new paradigm of healthcare.