Web site spotlight: Speedy strategies for staff education

Nurse Leader Insider, March 30, 2009

Want to receive articles like this one in your inbox? Subscribe to Nurse Leader Insider!

Sometimes it seems as though the “e” in e-mail could stand for “easy.” With just a few clicks of a mouse, e-mail enables you to send out information to hundreds—even thousands—of your nurses.

But what about those e-mails that sit unread in an in-box, or worse, get deleted without being read? If nurses aren’t reading their e-mails, they’re not getting the information they need to properly do their jobs.

“If we don’t want staff on e-mail while they’re working or don’t allow them to access it from home, then forget it, it’s not working as a communications tool,” says Sandra Bunn, RN, MSN, CRRN, rehab services educator at the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City.

Nurses are constantly on the go, and as staffing shortages become more common, it’s more important than ever to keep nurses on the floor providing patient care. So Bunn has developed several quick methods for educating nurses that not only provide the necessary information, but take little time and effort on the part of staff nurses.

When Bunn needs to communicate something to her nurses, she’ll often use what she calls “just-in-time” posters, which she hangs in the staff breakroom. These posters give quick, easy-to-remember pieces of information on new supplies or equipment and are hung next to a tear-off pad. Nurses are expected to tear off a page and use the top as a quick reference until they get used to the new equipment or supply. The bottom half contains questions they must answer and turn in to Bunn to demonstrate that they have read and digested the information.

Editor’s note: This excerpt was adapted from the article,“Quick ideas to keep nurses trained, but on the floor” featured in The Reading Room on HCPro’s online resource center,

Are you in need of continuing education (CE) credits? Check out this month’s CE article on preventing surgical site infections or visit our archives and view a compilation of CE articles (marked with an asterisk).

Want to receive articles like this one in your inbox? Subscribe to Nurse Leader Insider!

Most Popular