Designing a BSN Program for Hartford Community College
Designing a BSN Program for Hartford Community College
Quality nursing education is fundamental for equipping nurses with the right skills and training for the provision of quality, safe, and efficient nursing care. The provision of quality education requires clearly outlined programs that meet the education requirements as per the program. The Hartford Community College has played a critical role in producing competent, efficient, and resourceful nurses through its Associate Degree Nursing Program. As a community college, HCC attracts many students to nursing education. Despite the increasing need for more BSN nurses, the college offers the ASN program and, therefore, lacks the chance to contribute even more significantly in nursing education by blocking many students out every year. According to the Institute of Medicine (2011), many students interested in studying BSN degrees lack opportunities in the traditional baccalaureate programs due to limited enrolment capacity, unaffordability, and distance, and opt for community colleges. By designing the BSN program, the HCC opens up doors to hundreds of future nurses and an opportunity for shaping the future of nursing, and the development of the healthcare sector.
The extensive changes experienced in the health care sector and practice setting require highly skilled, competent, and well-prepared nurses. Education plays an important role in preparing nurses to meet the changing patient needs, fill the roles of nurse leaders/managers, and advance research, science, and development for the continuous improvement of efficiency, quality, and safety in the provision of patient care (Institute of Medicine (U.S.), 2011). There is a need to address the change and ensure efficiency in the process. However, this is not to say that ASN qualified nurses are not efficient, but rather that the BSN Program will ensure broader, better, and advanced training to meet the challenges in the healthcare. Moreover, the Institute of Medicine cites an increasing need for more BSN trained nurses as health care needs change. The Institute states that there is a likelihood of making BSN mandatory in nursing. This possibility and the increasing requirement for more nurses show the need for the program.
The change experienced in the health care sector requires nurses who can integrates different aspects of healthcare delivery to enhance the quality of care. Nurses are now faced with greater challenges due to the complexity of health care delivery and, therefore, must be equipped sufficiently to promote health, for disease prevention, adopt and use new technologies effectively, and understand other aspects such as immunization, screening, and genetic counselling among others. Moreover, the transformation of the health care system in the recent years, and the continuing transformation have created unlimited opportunities for BSN trained nurses. The Program will aim at preparing students to exploit and benefit from the opportunities created by the change (Amos, 2017).
Choosing the design of a curricula includes the consideration of the different factors that influence the process. There are internal and external factors that are key to designing an effective nursing program. According to Iwasiw and Goldenberg (2015), internal factors such as the academic discipline, quality of faculty, the mission/vision, students and student diversity, and the program quality. Moreover, external factors include the society, the government and stakeholders, political influence, professional associations, technology, and accrediting agencies among others. Technological advancement is one of the external factors influenced the decision to move from ASN to the BSN Program. The Institute of Medicine research The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health shows the revolution of the healthcare system following changing needs and transformation from adoption of new technologies.The recent integration of technology into health care setting and the advancement of science show the need for better equipped nurses who can confront the revolutionary changes in the healthcare with the ability to offer quality and efficient health care services (Fressola & Patterson, 2017).
Quality and safety are critical elements in the development of an effective program. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) remains on the fore-front in guiding quality and safety initiatives in the health care sector. The organization focuses on enhancing the ability of colleges of nursing to develop graduates who have quality and safety competencies from the programs. The program will involve the AACN to ensure the provision of the knowledge and equipment required for the delivery of high-quality, effective, safe, and patient-centered care. The involvement of organization will bring insight and essential guide that will enhance the quality of the program.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing promotes the ability to “ability of nurse faculty to effectively develop quality and safety competencies among graduates of their programs” (AACN, 2017). The choice of the organization was reached through a consideration of the fact that it is the national representative of higher education nursing institutions that offer four-year education programs. The organization’s focus on quality is shown by the high number (800) of schools of nursing it represents. Its membership comprises of private and public institutions around the country and representation runs from education and research to advocacy, publications, collection of data, and other programs that advance the pillars of quality nursing programs including quality, research, and advancing science. It supports, promotes, and influences the implementation of standards, improvement of care, and the development of baccalaureate nursing programs (AACN, 2017).
The implementation of the program requires significant capital and so does bringing the AACN on board. The organization only represents institutions that are its members. The annual membership fee of about $5,200 annually adds on the budget for designing and implementing the program thus posing a great financial challenge. The HCC will have to pay for the services of the AACN to get representation and training (AACN, 2017).
The humanist learning theory is important in the implementation of the BSN Program and the improvement of the quality of nursing education in HCC. According to the theory, people strive to exploit their potential and use learning as a way to exploit their full potential. The educator must focus on developing the student wholly, ensuring academic, psychological, emotional, and mental development. The application of the learning theory in the Program will improve critical thinking by encouraging students to exploit the cognitive and affective abilities. Integrating the cognitive approach in the humanist learning theory will create nurses that think creatively and critically, and focus on continuous learning (Iwasiw & Goldenberg, 2015).
The humanistic learning theory is applicable in nursing education since it promotes ideas and thoughts that are critical to the development of effectiveness as a nurse. One of the most important advantages for the theory is its focus on the whole person. The holistic approach ensures the overall development of the person, equipping them with essential abilities for interaction and critical thinking. Moreover, it advances personal responsibility thus proving essential in nursing education. The two advantages result in the development of the person in all dimensions. The nurse, therefore, can think critically and creatively, develops cultural competence hence the ability to interact with people from different backgrounds and cultures effectively, and acquires emotional development enhancing the values of empathy and respect among others. However, it focuses on subjective experience and lacks empirical support. The two disadvantages make it difficult to argue for its implementation in scientific fields. Therefore, as nurses prepare to advance science, the application of the humanistic learning theory does not help much (Iwasiw & Goldenberg, 2015).
Authentic learning holds the possibility to influence the implementation of the BSN Program significantly. The philosophy comprises mainly of four key components that include engaging learners through real-world problems, practicing metacognition and thinking using inquiry activities, integrating choice in learning to empower students, and discourse among the learners. The integration of the components and incorporation in developing BSN attaches creativity and quality in the program.
The application of the authentic learning as a philosophical approach in the development and implementation of the BSN will improve understanding of the nursing content and prepare the learners by equipping them with practical skills to address health care challenges. Considering these advantages, the application of the approach would be important in promoting the efficiency of health care. Incorporating authentic learning will expose students to real-world challenges and engage them in creating solutions thus improving the learning process. One of the disadvantages of the philosophy is that it places learners in areas that require skill and competence (Iwasiw & Goldenberg, 2015). Additionally, some of the activities are time-consuming and affect the delivery of care in nursing. Where the professionals have to work with learners, they take time to illustrate, which limits effectiveness in delivery of services.
The program will use the traditional classroom and online education as the two modalities for delivery. The implementation of the modalities will require the investing on and installing the necessary equipment/facilities.
The flexibility of the online education modality makes it effective in the implementation of the BSN Program. The platform allows a one-on-one interaction with the instructor and online group discussions with other students. Its integration into learning makes the incorporation of additional skill-set possible, especially in nursing considering technology is revolutionizing the sector. The shift from traditional information management to new technologies such as the EMR, EHR, Cloud-integrated EHR, and different technologies show the possible shift from traditional way of service delivery. Additionally, the modality makes access from different areas possible, scrapping the inconvenience of distance and cutting down the costs from the student side (Institute of Medicine (U.S.). Committee on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing.; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2011). The major barriers to implementation of online education is because it requires sophisticated systems online learning environments, proves difficult to customize learning, and institutions continue to maintain the sense of ownership of the students experiences in learning.
The traditional classroom is an effective way of teaching/learning that offers students an opportunity of interacting and networking with others, gives the instructors the chance to know and understand students and their needs. This allows the personalization of education. Moreover, the modality makes the adjustment of academic instruction possible, thus flexibility, is organized, accessible by anyone within school, and is well-organized making learning more efficient. Moreover, the classroom implementation will not require other infrastructure but an improvement of existing equipment/tools. However, the modality may deny people far from the location of the school a chance to pursue their dreams. Additionally, it is costly and can only occupy a limited number of students (Butts & Rich, 2016; Iwasiw & Goldenberg, 2015).
Assessment contributed greatly towards the improvement of the quality of education. It forms a critical part of instruction and learning, which play an important role in facilitating the teaching and learning process. According to NIU (2016), assessment includes the collection and application of a data for a specific objective. In the nursing program, the instructors will apply different methods for the frequent collection of data to determine the efficiency and influence of the learning process and improve the teaching and learning processes. The application of the data allows the evaluation of the student’s performance, which helps highlight areas that require improvement or strengthening. The assessment may include different techniques such as observation, pre-tests, and examinations. These forms make it possible for the instructor to evaluate the teaching and learning process using the collected data. Effective assessment will influence informed decision for quality improvement through informed decision-making. The application of the formative and summative assessment methods will enable the achievement of success in implementing the method, more so in the assessment area (NIU, 2016).
The formative and summative assessment methods, according to NIU (2016), are effective in improving the learning and teaching processes. The integration of the formative assessment method allows the provision of feedback and information in the course of learning and instruction. While acknowledging the importance of assessment of the learner and the instructor, the application of an effective method of capturing the progress is important. The formative method includes different techniques that help in measuring the progress of both the learner and the instructor. Its integration in the new program will place certainty in the achievement of the set academic goals due to its focus on constant improvement. NIU (2016) states that the method places emphasis on identifying the weak areas and improving them. A key element of the formative assessments is that they are not graded but rather record the level and effectiveness of the instructional methods and learner’s progress. These methods include in-class activity, question/answer questions, teacher-student conferences, journal reflection reviewed through the semester, and in-class observation among others.
The interaction between teachers and students during the in-class activities improve learning through the provision of feedback which allows the instructor do a self-evaluation. The different types of formative assessment enable the creation of better instructional techniques through the adjustment of the current methods to fit the requirements of the students. The benefits of the method make it applicable and effective in promoting learning goals and motivating students to work towards the achievement of the goals. Through the instructor-learner interaction, the method allows the personalization of instruction and improves decision-making by allowing the inclusion of the assessment data and findings. Integrating the formative assessment in the new BSN program will improve the quality of nursing education offered in the school and help create competent and skilled nurses (Butts & Rich, 2016).
The summative assessment will be applied after the completion of the learning. According to NIU (2016), the method plays an important role in providing information and feedback as a summation of the teaching/learning process. The integration of the method in the BSN Program will utilize rubrics, examinations, term papers, projects, self-evaluation of the instructors, and practical exams. These types of assessment give room for feedback and understanding the student’s understanding. At the completion of the learning process, the instructors will present the students with one of the mentioned types of summative assessment (as guided by the guidelines of each specific unit) to determine the impact of instruction and content retention by the students. Additionally, as a product-oriented method, it motivates students and instructors to work harder towards the achievement of academic and instructional goals. Students are motivated by exams and assignments to work hard so as to achieve better grades and academic excellence (NIU, 2016). Most importantly, the summative method will utilize the data or findings after the evaluation of the assessment to determine the areas that require improvement or the necessity for adjustment of instruction to meet learner’s needs. Therefore, the application of the method in the new BSN program will boost the quality and impact of the education significantly. The different types of the assessment will follow the guidelines and meet the standards required for quality training of nurse students.
The formative assessment method depicts various limitations. According to (Wiliam, 2011), the implementation of the assessment technique is time consuming, costly, tiring, and creates various challenges. The assessment happens either daily, weekly, or monthly, and involves interaction with students, which makes it time consuming and expensive. The element of cost comes in through the collection, analysis, and reporting of the data as well as the inclusion of trained professionals in the process (NIU, 2016; Wiliam, 2011).
Even when the summative assessments are effective in determining student performance, they have their shortcomings. The correlation between student performance and academic instruction creates the notion that some instructors teach what they probably test in the assessments. The method may show inaccuracies but its integration with the formative method will ensure students benefit the most from the teaching/learning process. Further, examinations and strict deadlines for assignment may be stressful and demotivating (Wiliam, 2011).
The integration of the formative method of assessment will make it possible for the instructors to devise effective instructional methods that facilitate effective learning. The method is effective for the identification of the weaknesses of the program, information that can be used in the creation of better approaches for the improvement of the learning/teaching process. As Wiliam (2011) asserts, the integration of effective assessment methods in education improves learning and enhances the quality of education. The formative assessment method will help the nursing students and instructors develop their competencies and capabilities. Students will benefit from the method by getting the chance to interact, respond, improve their areas of weakness through the guidance of their teachers while the latter will use the students’ feedback and the assessment data to self-evaluate and create better instructional methods (Butts & Rich, 2016).
The implementation of the formative assessment method will influence student success significantly. The method allows instructional effectiveness which guides students to achieve greater academic performance and success. According to Qu and Zhang (2013), formative assessment allows the teacher to investigate, evaluate, and analyze the daily records of the students’ learning activities. It gives the students the chance to give detailed and continuous feedback that allows the teacher to help them understand the content clearly. Additionally, by placing emphasis on cultivating the learner’s ability, formative assessment improves the learning efficacy and helps students perform better (Qu & Zhang, 2013). The integration of the assessment method in the BSN Program will improve student success.
Tomlinson and Moon (2014) states that “effective use of formative assessment is foundational to that incremental process of a student’s investment of effort in practice, opportunity to learn from the effort and self-correct to promote investment of effort in the next practice, and so on”. The integration of the assessment method into the BSN Program will support nurse students by establishing clear curriculum goals and aligning the goals with instruction. The process enables students to pursue personal and curriculum goals with the guidance of the instructors, with a clear focus on continuous performance improvement. It provides rapid feedback enabling teachers to understand the students and how to help them achieve success (NIU, 2016). Further, the students apply feedback from teachers to outline their areas of weakness and strengths, which enables them to effectively apply instructor guidance and more effort thus achieving success (Tomlinson & Moon, 2014).
Nursing practice is guided by a code of ethics that nurses should abide with and promote. The ANA outlines nine provisions that demonstrate its code of ethics and what nurses in the BSN program must focus on getting right for the delivery of quality, safe, and efficient nursing care. The code requires nurses to show compassion and respect, commitment to the patient and care, and focus on promoting and advocating for the protection of patient rights. These elements are essential for the provision of quality care services and the assurance of patient satisfaction. Moreover, the ANA advocates for the establishment, maintenance, and improvement of the ethical environment in the workplace, and promote safety and quality healthcare in the setting. Accountability, responsibility, and authority for the practice, integrity and competence, personal/professional growth, development of professional standards, and research are fundamental to the provision of quality, safe, and effective care. Moreover, the protection of human rights and health diplomacy, the reduction of disparities in health, and collaboration with different entities and people, and the articulation of nursing values form a part of the code of ethics (Butts & Rich, 2016).
The new program will integrate and apply the ANA code of ethics. In training the students, the different units under the program will incorporate the code of ethics to ensure that students learn them alongside the subject content. Additionally, the program will include training programs, seminars, and interactive programs where the student nurses interact and engage professionals for the improvement of the ability to apply the ethics. The ANA code of ethics are critical for the promotion of quality, safety, and efficiency of the healthcare services. Additionally, the program will set out practical lessons for equipping students with the necessary skills for the effective delivery of care. It will promote and encourage students to apply the code of ethics to ascertain mastery and commitment to their advancement during the students’ careers (Marsha Diane Mary Fowler; American Nurses Association, 2008; Butts & Rich, 2016).
The US Department of Education administers The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) through its office of Family Policy Compliance Office. The Federal law applied to all educational institutions that get funding through the Department’s program. The BSN program will abide with the law to ensure the protection of student information and prevent use or misuse by unauthorized persons. According to FERPA, only the students and the parents have the right to authorize the use of the student’s information to other parties. The incorporation of the law will ensure the promotion of student privacy from third parties without the consent the student (if s/he is over 18) or disclosure agreement between the third party and the parents. In the implementation of the law, the program will focus on the engagement of parents to ensure the effective implementation of the law. However, while most students will have 18+ years, the institution will respect the rights of the student. Disclosure of information will only be made to officials within the program that have legitimate educational interests, schools to which the student seeks enrolment, and to education authorities to enhance effectiveness in auditing. It will deny employees the right to distribute or use private personal information of the students without permission from the students/teachers (U.S. Department of Education, 2007).
Enacted in 1990, ADA is an important act that addresses issues of discrimination in education and other areas including transportation, employment, telecommunication, and public accommodations. According to Reynolds and Fletcher-Janzen (2012), the civil rights laws protect people with disabilities from discrimination. In the implementation of the new BSN program, the consideration and enforcement of the law is crucial for the protection of nursing students with disabilities (Reynolds & Fletcher-Janzen, 2012). The school will apply the law by creating programs for the creation of awareness, enlightening the students, teaching diversity, and promoting respect for the rights of every student. The program will further include platforms for reporting cases of discrimination and set out rules and regulations against the breach of the law. This will promote respect for students with disabilities and protect their civil and human rights including the most basic such as the right to respect and dignity.
Most importantly, the consideration of the needs of students with disabilities will require the implementation of ADA. The provision of reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be important for the ensuring that the program benefits them. Additionally, the program will involve the implementation of Title II of the ADA to ensure all students enjoy the services, activities, and the programs offered in the BSN equally and fully. It will also ensure that all students are given opportunities of participation without exclusion of persons with disability as stated in ADA (University of Missouri, 2017).
While some of the ANA code of ethics is the protection of the dignity, privacy, confidentiality, and the effective handling of the patients’ health information, equipping the nursing students with the capability to do so is important. The HIPAA 1996 promotes data privacy, security, and efficiency in handling health information. The law gives citizens the right to transfer health insurance coverage after changing or loss of jobs. Additionally, it focuses on the reduction of health fraud and user abuse, and advocate for the protection of the users’ confidential information while promoting privacy and respect (CDHCS, 2017). The program will educate the students about the HIPAA and integrate it in the system by guiding students on application and use. Most importantly, it will be used to promote the education on privacy, confidentiality, and security of patient information to equip the patients with the necessary knowledge and skills for application in their careers.
The BSN program will ensure that students, instructors, and other staff understand and comply with the laws set concerning intellectual property. The program will educate students about the application of copyright laws in using resources and instructors in the use of teaching materials. With the support of the administration, the provision of essential materials through databases and the library will prevent the infringement of the laws. However, creating awareness about copying, plagiarism, reproducing or redistributing materials found through the avenues will be important to prevent legal liabilities. Additionally, the program will set clear policies and rules that will include disciplinary action for the violation of the copyright and intellectual property laws (Ambria College of Nursing, 2017).
Credentialing mechanisms ensure the efficiency in the regulation of nursing education and practice. The different mechanisms standardize outcomes to ascertain the delivery of quality and safe nursing care. Consultation with the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) will ensure the accreditation of the BSN program. The ACEN supports nursing practice, nursing education, and the wellbeing of the users of nursing care services through the function of accreditation. The organization defines accreditation as a voluntary and self-regulatory process that involves the recognition of programs or institutions that meet the requirements/standards of educational quality. The inclusion of the accreditation process in the implementation of the program will ensure the delivery of quality nursing education and the continuous improvement of the program (ACEN, 2017).
The program will follow the due process for accreditation. The process will start with a self-assessment to determine whether it meets the requirements and the set standards, identify strengths and improvement action plans. Additionally, the ACEN team will validate the self-assessment report by determining whether the BSN Program meets the body’s accreditation standards. Compliance with the key elements is crucial for the validation. The ACEN evaluation team will create a report for the body. Further, the school will be required to respond to the report in writing and offer any additional information that may influence the validation process. The ACEN evaluates whether the institution meets the specific requirements in regards with its mission and administrative capacity, whether the faculty and staff are qualified, credentialed, and sufficient, there are effective policies and services, and whether the curriculum supports the attainment of student learning outcomes. Additionally, the evaluation determines the resources and the achievement of outcomes. The BSN program will require sufficient resources, qualified and credentialed staff, create and implement efficient services and policies, and focus on achieving the program and student learning outcomes (ACEN, 2017).
The accreditation process will ensure the effective implementation of the program including investment of sufficient resources, efficiency in the sub-programs, and the achievement of the desired outcome. The accreditation body (ACEN) is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the US Department of Education, which makes the licensure of the program by the body essential for assurance of quality. Seeking the services of ACEN will boost the confidence the students in practice and the employer, but will also enhance the confidence of the public in the institution and improve enrolment. Most importantly, the accreditation will validates the institution’s commitment towards the provision of quality nursing education and training. Moreover, it will show its emphasis on fostering excellence and preparing the nurses sufficiently before releasing them into the job market. According to the ACEN, accreditation fosters continuous self-examination and re-evaluation to ascertain quality improvement. It enables eligibility for student funding, facilitates credit transfer, affirms competence, and improves chances of employment of the students (ACEN, 2017).
experienced in the health sector in the recent years calls for the change to
meet the demands of healthcare, the needs of the patients, and the improvement
of quality and effectiveness to meet the 21st century health care
needs. While the HCC has been delivering quality ASN program, the need to shift
by designing and implementing a BSN Program is inevitable. There is a need to
support the program, which will offer higher skills, education, more training,
and equip the students sufficiently for the health care needs. There is a need
to understand the external factors that influence the program and adopt
strategies for effective implementation. One of the important approaches is
through the membership in the AACN and implementing the guidelines of the
Institute of Medicine. Moreover, applying the humanistic learning theory will
promote critical thinking and develop the students wholly to offer quality,
safer, and more efficient care services. Additionally, considering online education
and distant learning, adopting the formative and summative assessment methods,
and integrating the code of ethics and laws that influence implementation of
nursing programs and the delivery of care is critical in implementing the BSN
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