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Grant will help nursing students interact with patients

'Over the next three years, the university will utilize five Best Practice Guidelines as outlined by the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario to better prepare nursing students to interact with clients in the community

The Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO) has given $105,000 to the School of Nursing at Nipissing University, to create a Best Practice Spotlight Organization (BPSO).

Over the next three years, the university will utilize five Best Practice Guidelines as outlined by the RNAO, to better prepare nursing students to interact with clients in the community.

“Fall prevention, engaging clients with substance abuse, assessment and management of pain, person and family-centered care, and pressure ulcer prevention programs will be focused on, to prepare for the future of clinical leadership,” said Dr. Karey McCullough, Director of the School of Nursing.

These five guidelines were identified during the assessment of the program, as being the most relevant to today’s curriculum and to the needs of the community.

“So it was low hanging fruit so to speak to start implementing this program. The funding will help us provide the very best in clinical training to our students, and better respond to, and meet the needs of our community. By implementing these five specific Best Practice Guidelines over the next three years, we intend to develop strong positive impacts on student success, faculty research and more importantly, patient outcomes,” said McCullough.

North Bay is home to three innovative nursing programs.

“The one thing that we’re primarily proud of is that this is the first university that’s doing the implementation across all three programs,” explained Dr. Louela Manankil-Rankin BPSO Co-Lead.  

The university points out many of the BPSO Guidelines are already embedded into the curriculum, through courses and learning activities, as well as through simulation activities in each of its programs.

“We just need to assess and implement and evaluate how we are doing that, in order to demonstrate the excellence that we are already currently doing. There are several benefits with having this recognition.  It’s an internationally renowned program of excellence, which means the School of Nursing at Nipissing University will be highlighted locally, nationally and internationally,” said McCullough.

Dr. Arja Vainio-Mattila, is Provost and Vice-President Academic and Research at Nipissing University.

“This project is a focus on experience learning. The idea is that nursing students all through their educational career at university, are involved in learning situations that are focused on the skills that they need later on. As a result, our nursing students and graduates will be recognized as best practice champions. In short, the funding helps enhance and ensure Nipissing’s ability to provide excellent education for our nurses, something for which we are very thankful.”

Susan McNeil, will be the BPSO coach over the next three years, during the pre-designation period.

“Nipissing belongs to the largest BPSO cohort ever, and this cohort includes organizations throughout Ontario, both academic and service organizations across the full spectrum of care,” said McNeil.

“There will also be opportunities for Nipissing to work together with international colleagues as we together explore the development of academic indicators as they relate to guidelines implementation.”  

Erin Davis is currently in year four of the collaborative nursing program, and Vice-President of the Nipissing University Nursing society.

“We want to do a big involvement with the nursing society and have a student on board in meetings at different times throughout the school year. We really want the students to have a voice in the process. I’m excited for that, and I’m also excited to graduate having the honour of having BPSO on my resume when I graduate. So that’s also important as a nursing student to have that.”