Expert spotlight: Form a virtual nurse education committee

Nurse Leader Insider, July 13, 2009

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

This week, staff development expert Adrianne Avillion, DEd, RN, owner of Avillion's Curriculum Design in York, PA, discusses how to develop a virtual education committee.

Q: We'd like to form a nursing education committee at my facility, but time constraints make it seem impossible for staff to frequently attend in-person meetings. Do you have any tips for developing a virtual education committee?

A: A virtual committee has the same purpose and fulfills the same goals as an in person education committee, but has the functionality to hold meetings via e-mail, instant messaging, or other means of distance communication. Education committees should consist of representatives from all levels of nursing staff, and, in some cases, from other departments as well. The following are some guidelines for getting started:

  1. Identify people who are interested and willing to serve on an education committee. Ask for recommendations from managers, post information on bulletin boards and hospital Web sites, and ask participants who attend learning activities.
  2. If you have the technology available to you, set up a mechanism for a live online chat that will allow committee members to converse electronically. If not, consider using an instant messaging format. Participation can be from work, home, or any convenient computer.
  3. If live chats or instant messaging are not effective, consider communicating via group e-mails. You may need to conduct a face-to-face meeting to devise the committee's structure, such as how often you will need to communicate, establish deadlines for completion of committee tasks, e-mail etiquette, etc. After that, you can use e-mail as the foundation for your meetings.

Editor's note: Do you have a question for our experts? Email your queries to Editor Keri Mucci at and see your name in print next week! In the meantime, head over to our Web site and view a growing collection of advice from our experts.

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

Most Popular