Presentation Notes

Professional Development poster presented at Nursing Passion: Re-Igniting the Art & Science, Advocate Aurora Health Nursing & Research Conference 2022; November 9, 2022; virtual.


Background: Competing influences often demand “education” or “annual competency” in response to organizational priorities and regulatory requirements. Historically we defaulted to an “everyone does everything” approach without regard to outcome data and/or needs assessments. The result: bloated education plans with poor return on investment, and disengaged team members fraught with education fatigue.

Purpose: Our aim was to create a pre-planned, balanced diet of education & competency verification for our team members, targeted to their specific department needs, eliminating the “empty calories.”

Methods: A standardized tool was developed to provide our Nursing Professional Development Practitioners (NPD) and leaders with a consistent way for determining department-specific education needs and competency priorities: The Regulatory Required Education Assessment and Competency Tool (R.E.A.C.T). Using topics informed by the ANPD Clinical Education Matrix, the Donna Wright framework, and benchmarks collaboratively set with system partners in practice, quality, safety and informatics, the tool was disseminated to leaders in 2021.

Results: Seven hundred seventy Hospital-based direct patient-care nursing departments were in scope across 26 hospitals. A quantitative audit was conducted showing the median completion for sites was 92%. Focus groups were also held for qualitative feedback on the workbook, which helped inform revisions and workflow fortifications needed for the 2022 iteration.

Conclusions: Limitations included lack of resources to review the quality of workbook completions, communication gaps, and not purposefully planning for demonstrating return on investment (ROI) or learner engagement.

Implications for practice: Overall, REACT helps leaders forecast future department resource needs while simultaneously meeting the requirements of regulatory bodies. It has been adopted as a standard for nursing and has even been requested by ancillary departments. While we don’t have an ROI for the entire transformation, we know adding a benchmark for just one education topic in REACT has saved the organization eight-hundred thousand dollars. Additionally, we are investigating copyrighting REACT for use outside the organization.

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