Spring 2014 was the first time that the new nursing curriculum course NURS 473: Professional Pathways was delivered and the impact was ASTOUNDING! Students, faculty, and communities around the globe are finding the new curriculum outstanding. The move to the new curriculum reduced clinical hours from 120 to 60 and altered the focus of the coursework to be more on professional development and leadership projects rather than simply clinical hours. The connections students are able to make throughout their coursework in the MSUM RN to BSN program begins in NURS 301: Transitions and continues throughout to the final two courses NURS 472: Nursing Leadership and Professional Development and NURS 473: Professional Pathways.
“Since the RN to BSN student holds the professional license and is expected to move into leadership roles, we have transitioned the historic ‘Preceptorship’ to more closely align with the Institute of Medicine competencies for leadership. The focus and emphasis is now on the BSN as the nurse leader–in the clinical setting, education, public health and beyond.” – Barbara J. Matthees, Chair of the School of Nursing & Healthcare Leadership at MSUM.
Students this spring and summer have gone to Nicaragua to impact families of children with disabilities and engage in culturally competent preventative health education, while other students in ND and MN have engaged with health agencies, public health entities, summer camps, and more! Examples of the many projects include education for nurses, outreach for at-risk populations, professional development for nurses, and working on inter-agency communication in handing-off and transitioning patients.
Agencies and preceptors have provided feedback to faculty and students regarding the exciting impact of these professional pathways projects. Faculty alike have seen great outcomes in the students as well as the communities in which the projects are taking place and being implemented. Mary Rousslang, instructor of the Summer 2014 NURS 473 course at MSUM, said that “the projects were awesome and the students overall did a fantastic job at the projects that were not simple nor easy… the facility [sic] benefitted from the student projects and the students grew in confidence and leadership skills.”
The School of Nursing & Healthcare Leadership could not be more excited about this turn in the RN to BSN program! Looking forward to our Fall 2014 NURS 473 Projects, outcomes look just as promising with projects on the horizon that include, but are not limited to, working with at-risk youth, post-hospitalization follow-up, emotional intelligence, quality assurance, reducing hospital readmissions, infection control of nursing property in home care, language barriers to family nursing and preventative care, and enhancing culturally competent care in Guatemala City.