On August 15, each incoming FNP DNP-2 student was given a new iPad to use for their academic and clinical learning for the entire 2019 clinical year. All told, 43 students and the 10 core faculty members who are involved received the devices to continue to enhance the College’s ability to leverage technology to better connect and engage students and connect them to faculty.
Funded by a $20,000 sub-award of the Graduate Nursing Education grant, the funding focused on supporting clinical education for Nurse Practitioner students. The project became a reality thanks to support from the College's Office of Learning & Healthcare Technology Innovations (LHTI).
FNP Program Coordinator and Director of Practice Innovations, Allen Prettyman, PhD, notes that the online FNP program has embraced the use of technology since the program’s inception. But the goal is to take the College’s commitment to technology to the next level. “We’re innovating in the use of technology embedded in an education platform,” says Dr. Prettyman. “Other schools have been exploring how to use technology in online education, but the faculty team at the College of Nursing is striving to be leader in using technology in innovative ways to enhance the student experience.”
“Other schools have been exploring how to use technology in online education, but the faculty team at the College of Nursing is striving to be a leader in using technology in innovative ways to enhance the student experience." ~ Dr. Allen Prettyman
The integration of iPads into the clinical curriculum for Family Nurse Practitioner students will give Dr. Prettyman and his colleagues the ability to continually innovate and engage students in an immersive educational experience. “We will monitor the advantages this will have for our students in clinical environments,” he says. The iPad program fits perfectly with the College’s focus on developing telehealth strategies focusing on rural health. Students will be equipped to complete their clinical evaluation process using the new technology, a vast improvement from more cumbersome technology models that came before, such as a Chromebook and a conference tower that had to be shipped to clinical sites.
As for the future? “Once the first year is completed, we’ll be assessing whether this might work for other programs,” says Dr. Prettyman. “Down the road, we plan to develop this use of technology as an area for ongoing study.”
The College of Nursing has a robust history of enriching its programs through innovative technology. Results have included telehealth training for students, work to tailor the electronic health record to best support the needs of nurses, and faculty forays into the business world with an invention that prevents the health-related downsides of immobility and a start-up early detection alert system that will vastly improve patient outcomes.