Nursing week is a great opportunity to celebrate the many innovative programs and collaborative initiatives going on at Ontario universities’ schools of nursing.
In the past year, the 14 university schools of nursing in Ontario have been at the forefront of a movement towards greater collaboration in the postsecondary education sector.
Last month, the schools of nursing learned that they would be receiving a $100,000-grant from the Associated Medical Services (AMS) Phoenix Project to identify how their programs are working to instill compassion in nursing students and graduates, and to create a repository of best practices to enhance these efforts in future. This project will be rolling out over the next 18 months and will involve consultations with students, recent graduates, and faculty.
In 2013-14, the university nursing schools in Ontario also received $5.8 million from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities to buy up-to-date, hi-fidelity simulation mannequins and equipment. The funds also made it possible to create 40 clinical learning scenarios that all Ontario schools of nursing can access for free and adapt to their programs. These scenarios help prepare senior-level undergraduate nursing students for care in high-risk clinical situations, with vulnerable populations and interprofessional teams. The grant has helped place Ontario nursing schools at the forefront of simulation education in North America.
University schools of nursing have also been collaborating through group purchasing. The universities negotiated special rates for preparation materials for a new U.S. licensing exam that all Ontario nursing graduates are required to pass in order to practice in Ontario. The materials will help to facilitate student success on the new exam. Group procurement was also used to purchase the simulation equipment, resulting in significant savings.
Most recently, a group of nursing educators from multiple universities have come together to begin creating an online PhD course in nursing philosophy, which is a required course for nursing PhD students. A collaborative online course will bring together expertise from across the province, increase accessibility for students, and streamline costs for nursing schools. The collaborative nature of nursing schools in Ontario make these programs leading models for others in the sector.
Check out a sample of news and events going on during nursing week at Ontario universities: