by James Coburn
Kramer School of Nursing at Oklahoma City University and the Oklahoma Nurses Association are presenting a special two-day conference series designed for all nursing professionals, educators, hospital administrators, graduate students, floor nurses, anybody who wants to enhance a safe patient environment for their patients and learn about QSEN standards.
The conference series is scheduled for Thursday and Friday, Feb. 23-24, at OCU’s Meinders School of Business, located at NW 27th and McKinley in Oklahoma City. Events begin at 7:30 a.m. and run until about 3:30 p.m. on both days.
The first day will focus on safe patient handling. Nationally known faculty leaders will highlight an array of topics during the Safe Patient Handling Conference, said Christopher Black, director of communications and outreach.
Day 2 will focus on Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN), a product of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
“It’s a nationwide focus on identifying the issues that are going on in health care with regard to safety and specifically developing educational programs to educate nurses from the get-go with regard to combating those quality indicators that have been identified,” said Dr. Lynn Korvick, RN, faculty member and chair of Graduate Education.
QSEN has been organized in the last few years after about 10 years of development, said Korvick, who has attended a QSEN conference with one other person. The conference identifies educators who are the go-to person for the educational community.
Korvick was charged with bringing the topics of concern back to faculty and staff to raise their attention to the quality indicators identified by QSEN, and making specific curricular changes to follow the national standards, Korvick said. National standards will also be integrated into the standardizing and accrediting agencies, including the American Association of Colleges of Nursing as well as the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, Korvick said.
“This isn’t a passing fancy. The roots for this movement are deep and will be continued until safety issues are being addressed at all levels,” Korvick said.
QSEN plans to expand the program from Baccalaureate education to the Masters level. Those components have not yet been published and are in the process of development.
Speaking on Day 2 will be Gwen Sherwood, PhD, RN, FAAN. Professor Sherwood is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing.
“We feel as a school, as a university that it is very important to put it into curriculum as well as to get the word across the Oklahoma City area,” said Professor Alicia Hutchings, RN, full time faculty and chair of the Continuing Education Committee. “We occasionally get people from Texas, Missouri and some of our surrounding states so we felt this was an important topic that we could use for our nurse educator conference,” Hutchings said.
Black said there is the curriculum component as well as the culture change within the school. Developing curriculum will help implement change in hospitals, Hutchings said. Hospital administrators will be interested in making a case for return-on-investment.
“There are people in hospital administration at are unaware or not as well versed on the practical implementation of some of the stuff,” Black said. “That’s really what Day 1 focuses on -- injury risk with patient handling for health care workers -- implementing it in education and changing the work environment.”
The Safe Patient Handling Conference is sponsored by Guldmann, who has installed lifts into the Kramer labs to enhance safety in the work environment. These lifts help prevent injury to nurses.
“This is why we feel it’s important. This is how we can save nurses, so we can decrease hospital costs,” Hutchings said. “We can decrease nursing shortage by having healthy, strong, safe practicing practitioners.”
Black said the Veterans Administration is also investing in the idea. Trends indicate that programs enter the hospital environments after the VA makes an investment, Black said.
Nursing homes, skilled nursing, home health and hospice may also benefit from the lifting assistance. Wound care nurses can benefit from the equipment by not having to bend over and put pressure on their backs.
“It saves money and increases the security of the patient, the productivity of the nurse,” Black said.
Participants are invited to attend one or both days of the conference. Lunch will be provided.
To learn more, contact Christopher Black at (405) 208-5832 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Lynn Korvick, right, and Professor Alicia Hutchings are helping to raise the bar of best nursing practices by participating in a two-day conference to be held at OCU’s Meinders School of Business.