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Nursing Schools Explore Their Creative Side
So nursing schools are getting creative. They’re devising new ways of capturing their students’ interests and compelling them to challenge themselves.
Here is a look at some of the innovative approaches to education taken by several U.S. nursing schools:
Earlier this month, Hite and Frisbee launched the first Nursing Safety and Mobility Olympics at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kan., to give the students from their Techniques in Nursing course the chance to show off their skills during a little friendly competition. They didn’t tell their students in advance exactly what they had planned, but they did suggest that they might want to wear sneakers to class.
Students from Pittsburgh State University in Kansas compete in the school's first Nursing Safety and Mobility Olympics
“They understood from the beginning that doing this wasn’t just about fun,” said Hite.
Other examples of Frisbee and Hite’s willingness to be creative to engage their students: Frisbee is also known for creating a game called Urano. She hands out Bingo cards and asks students to track many of the important terms that she mentions during her lecture on urinary care. (Yes, there are prizes.). And Hite presides over an intense nursing-themed Family Feud on the last day of the course.
Frisbee and Hite hope that their students will apply the lessons they learned from their course to the challenges they will face in the workplace, where they may need to draw upon their own creativity.
“Nursing is up for the challenge of coming up with solutions, and I’m up for the preparation of students to meet those challenge,” said Frisbee.
Just this week, UConn debuted a state-of-the-art, custom-designed nursing simulation and training van that will travel around the state and provide education for correctional nurses in 16 Department of Correction facilities. The 40-foot vehicle is the nation’s first correctional nursing simulation van.
“The more education that we can offer to correctional nurses, the higher quality of care they can deliver,” noted assistant clinical professor Denise Panosky, DNP, RN, CNE, CCHP, FCNS.
How it works: Teams of corrections nurses will participate in a 90-minute training session. They will practice their skills during a simulated scenario, then get the opportunity to debrief afterward with the staff.
“It can also lead to better patient outcomes because the nurses will really know what to do, even if they’ve never encountered it in their actual practice before,” said Cusson.
The idea for the YSN Creative Writing Awards grew out of a box of papers stored in the office of professor Linda Pellico, PhD, APRN.
Every year, Pellico encourages her graduate students to keep a journal. The journals are not graded. Pellico doesn’t even require the students to submit them or hand them in. They are entirely for the benefit of the students, to help them on their journey toward becoming a nurse. She urges them to reflect on the ups and downs of their clinical experiences--and then to write down their thoughts.
But her students often share their stories with her--and they’ve done so for years. That was her inspiration for the contest. “I had all these stories sitting underneath my desk,” Pellico remembered. “And I started to say, ‘We need to celebrate these stories and get them out there.’”
The only rule is that the entries must be relevant to nursing in some way, but the specifics are left up to the student.
“People can see the richness of nursing through these stories,” said Pellico. “Our stories tell the impact of nurses on patients, on families and on communities.”