Introduction: Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, meeting regulatory educational requirements and graduating students competent for nursing practice was essential. Competent graduates were needed to support a strong nursing workforce in Connecticut during this chaotic time in health care. This paper describes the powerful impact of statewide collaboration toward meeting this goal.
Methods: The Connecticut League for Nursing Council of Deans and Directors (Council) organized six work groups to address the practice issues brought about by COVID-19 to continue educating nursing students and ensure a robust nursing workforce for the state. Volunteers from the Council offered to lead the groups and members joined based on interest. The six work groups were: (1) enhance communication with the Connecticut Board of Examiners for Nursing (BOEN), (2) examine academic progression policies across programs to ensure academic rigor, (3) examine integration of nursing students into professional practice and the provision of support for new graduates, (4) Strategize on transition to practice issues, (5) ensure APRN students meet the required 500 precepted direct client care hours, and (6) examine summer clinical experience options for RN and LPN students.
Conclusion: The Council's top priority was to graduate competent nursing students ready for practice. This necessitated the establishment of a framework for ongoing deep, timely discussions among Council members and with the BOEN regarding the new education imperative for creative patient care learning experiences. Through collaborative efforts, the Council was able to enhance robust and timely sharing of strategies, policies, and other guidelines. The Council has partnered with the Connecticut Nurses Association, Connecticut Hospital Association, and the Connecticut Center for Nursing Workforce to provide a strong united nursing voice for executive decision-making and within the political arena in support of the role of nursing students and faculty, and their continuous involvement within direct caregiving environments.
Beauvais, A., Kazer, M., Rebeschi, L. M., Baker, R., & Lupinacci, J. H. (2021). Educating nursing students through the pandemic: The essentials of collaboration. Open Nursing, 7. Doi: 10.1177/23779608211062678
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