Wright State University's Path to Competency-Based Education

August 25, 2023

Video Transcript

Speaker: Drs. Ann Bowling and Rosemary Eustace and Marlene Stuber

How is Wright State University approaching its transition to competency-based education?

Drs. Ann Bowling and Rosemary Eustace and Marlene Stuber: Wright State University has begun the transition to competency-based education by completing our gap analysis for the BSN program. And we are now starting to implement competency-based assessment and teaching strategies into the curriculum. We plan to incorporate competency-based assessments and teaching strategies into multiple courses this upcoming fall semester. Fundamentals, public health, and evidence-based practice research course.

Wright State University's Early Lessons Learned

Drs. Ann Bowling and Rosemary Eustace and Marlene Stuber: As we conducted the gap analysis, we identified the need to educate nursing faculty regarding terminology in the new Essentials. For example, in the new Essentials, population is defined as a collection of individuals who have one or more personal or environmental characteristics in common. As we reviewed the gap analysis, we discovered that the only cause that included domain three, population health, was our public health nursing course. Even though all our clinical nursing causes have a defined population, this was a significant gap. However, an opportunity to educate faculty on how the new Essentials define population health. An additional example is the term stakeholders. Again, there's a need to educate nursing faculty about who the stakeholders include. To assist with this, we are planning on using the CDC definition. Stakeholders are individuals and organizations that have an interest in, or are affected by your evaluation and/or its results.

What domain of nursing practice is Wright State University focusing on in addition to population health?

Drs. Ann Bowling and Rosemary Eustace and Marlene Stuber: The additional domain that was selected by Wright State University was domain six interprofessional partnerships. The rationale for choosing this domain is twofold. One, our practice partner of Career Health identified this area as a need for improvement. And two, Wright State University is committed to incorporating more interprofessional education across our healthcare profession. Prior to the call for this grant, Wright State University nursing faculty and Premier Health Nurse nursing leaders had been partnering to strengthen the nursing workforce in our communities. During this work, Premier asked if Wright State University to collaborate with them to develop competencies, to teach and assess bedside nurses, knowledge, and ability to be effective in the team. We shared with Premier the new Essentials, and we all agreed domain sites provided the subdomains needed to create bedside leadership competency.

How is Wright State University engaging with practice partners to transition to competency-based education?

Drs. Ann Bowling and Rosemary Eustace and Marlene Stuber: To begin, We invited and attended the AACN faculty development workshop on competency-based education with our practice partners. Next, we distributed copies of the new Essentials to Premier Nursing leaders working with their practice partners. Through Wright State University's partnership with Premier, we developed five subgroups. These subgroups meet monthly to review progress towards establishing goals. Their transition to practice subgroup is currently in the process of assessing Premier's residency nurse program data. The purpose of this analysis is to identify gaps in the student's knowledge and ability as they transition from school to practice. A number of established assessment tools are distributed throughout the residency program. Once the analysis is complete, the plan is to create competencies in alignment with the new Essentials to improve Wright State University's curriculum and Premier Health's nurse residency program. In addition to data analysis, we crosswalk the nurse residency program with the new Essential competencies and subcompetencies. One specific gap that has been identified is delegation and assignment. Based on that identified gap, we work with the director of the Premier nurse residency program to draft off a competency related to delegation within a nursing team. i.e., patient care assistants, LPNs, and other nurses. Additionally, we are in the process of creating IPE foundational competencies to address the Interprofessional Education Collaborative core competencies for interprofessional education and practice. It is clear in the IPE literature that students in the health care profession should learn about, from, and with each other to learn the importance of collaborative practice.

How will the move to competency-based education help to prepare more practice-ready nurses?

Drs. Ann Bowling and Rosemary Eustace and Marlene Stuber: By working with practice partners and together identifying what competencies new graduate nurses lack, we will know exactly how to improve our curriculum to produce practice-ready graduates. In addition, utilizing a competency-based model will allow us to intervene early, and often, with our students, because we will not be relying on just knowledge tests. Students will advance based on their ability to master competency, and will remediate until they have achieved the required competency. Ensuring that graduates of Wright State University's Nursing program demonstrate competencies in all 10 domains will ensure our practice partners that our students are ready to practice, and that they will not have to spend orientation time reteaching them how to safely care for patients, communicate effectively, and manage a team. But spend the time focusing on the uniqueness of the practice agency, such as policy and procedures that are unique to the organization.

What is most exciting in this work for your faculty?

Drs. Ann Bowling and Rosemary Eustace and Marlene Stuber: The most exciting aspect of this work is actively engaging with our practice partners. We are learning about their challenges in training and retraining new graduates, as well, as our practice partner is learning about our challenges in recruiting and securing placements in clinical faculty. It is rewarding and energizing to see the forward progress in our initiatives, as well as the relationships that are formed. We appreciate the support from AACN to produce the best nurses in the region, as well as to contribute to this important work in nursing education. Likewise, we are excited to be able to engage our faculty in assessing our existing curriculum and collectively finding new ways for curricular change and improvement.

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