Nursing

Inside scoop from our experts: Hospital-wide competency days

HCPro's Weekly Update on the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®*, April 5, 2010

This week’s question on staff education comes from a discussion on JourneyTalk. Erica Siddell, PhD, RN, director of nursing education and professional development at The Center for Nursing Education & Practice Innovation, Saint Francis Hospital & Medical Center in Hartford, CT, provides some insight.

Q: Does your hospital utilize hospital-wide competency “blitz” days? If so, can you share how you set them up, and how many employees progress through in a day?

A: Once a month we host what we call a Competency Day. The Lab provides point of care stations, and we coordinate with Occupational Health to offer PPDs and fit testing. Sessions last up to 4 hours.

Our department meets once a year to identify the core competencies for the year. These are usually driven by new National Patient Safety Goals, new equipment/procedures, or related to a practice variance (i.e., multiple instances of the same medication error). Then, each nurse educator meets with the nurse managers from her division to identify division specific competencies for the year.

We use a standard template for the competencies which helps with consistency across the different divisions. We also use different stations to provide the information, and some require repeat performance or passing a quiz—others don't.

We include nursing assistants and monitor techs, and this covers all inpatient areas, as well as a few specialty areas.

We get about 100 people through each session (some months there are two sessions per day). This is our third year using this approach and we're starting to feel that we have most of the bugs worked out.

Editor's note: On JourneyTalk you can network with your peers, discuss the new manual, share your helpful tips, and get advice on how to meet the program's expectations. Become a member of JourneyTalk when you subscribe to HCPro's Resource Center for the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®.

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