Printer Friendly

Being a nurse planner--what does that mean?

Accreditation Program criteria for Continuing Nursing education requires that a nurse planner with a minimum of a Baccalaureate degree in nursing be actively involved in the process of planning, implementing, and evaluating the activity. The familiar steps of the nursing process that we apply in patient care also apply in developing continuing education.

When you take continuing education classes that are provided within the ANCC accreditation program criteria, you are assured that you are receiving a learning experience that meets evidence-based standards for quality in continuing education. The nurse planner's job is to ensure that those criteria are met as the planning process unfolds.

MNA often receives requests from organizations that would like to offer contact hours for their learning activities but do not have a nurse planner on their team. If you are interested in learning how to be a nurse planner, we can provide the education you need in order for you to fill that role. We can then include you on our list of resources when people ask for names of qualified nurse planners. It is perfectly acceptable for you to charge a fee for your work.

MNA's continuing education approver unit has many organizations throughout the state that are already approved as providers of continuing education. If you work in one of these organizations, the information here will help you decide if you would like to become a nurse planner in your organization's provider unit.

What does it mean to be a nurse planner? What are you responsible to do?

Assessment: The nurse planner is responsible for reviewing needs assessment data. He/she doesn't have to be the person collecting that data, but is expected to be familiar with the evidence that supports the need for people in the intended target audience to learn this information. Based on this needs assessment, the nurse planner performs a gap analysis. Several questions guide this process: Where are the learners now in relation to this information? Where do they need to be? What education do they need to get from Point A (where they are) to Point B (where they need to be)? Is there a gap in knowledge? A gap in skill the ability to perform based on that knowledge? A gap in practice--the ability to apply that knowledge and skill in the practice setting? What is the desired outcome for nurses who participate in this activity?

Planning: Based on answers to those questions, the nurse planner works with a planning committee to develop the educational activity. Two people, at a minimum, need to be on a planning committee -the nurse planner and someone who is an expert on the content to be presented. The nurse planner might be the content expert--that's fine, but there still need to be at least two people on the planning committee. The planning committee considers such things as what content should be included, who should present the content, how the content should be presented, what the criteria for successful completion will be, and how the learning activity will be evaluated. The planning committee works closely with the presenter(s) to ensure that content is based on best available evidence, that there is no conflict of interest for anyone involved with the presentation, and that content integrity will be maintained by preventing bias or outside influence.

Implementation: The nurse planner does not have to be present for the activity itself, but is accountable to ensure that it is implemented according to the plan. This includes being sure that people are appropriately registered for the activity and that names and unique identifiers (email address, mailing address, employee ID, etc.) for each participant are captured and maintained in the activity file. The nurse planner makes sure that the agenda for the day is well designed and someone is accountable to ensure that it is followed. The nurse planner ensures that required disclosures are provided to learners before the beginning of the learning experience, so they clearly understand the purpose or objectives for the activity, the criteria for successful completion, the provider status of the organization providing the learning activity, and the presence or absence of conflict of interest. If applicable, learners must also be notified of the presence of commercial support or sponsorship and the expiration date if the learning is provided through enduring materials. The nurse planner also makes sure that a properly prepared certificate is available to each learner when successful completion has been achieved.

Evaluation: The nurse planner participates with the planning committee in reviewing the activity. Did it achieve its intended purpose? Was the identified gap in knowledge, skill, or practice eliminated or reduced? Did learners have feedback that would influence repeat of this activity or development of new ones? Did the presenter have suggestions or recommended changes? Was there any bias or breach in content integrity that needs to be addressed? Could or should the activity be repeated? Finally, as part of the evaluation process, the nurse planner ensures that all documentation for the activity is assembled in the activity file and that plans are in place to preserve the activity file for a minimum of six years.

MNA has a number of instructions, forms, and informational resources on the web site that help nurse planners in their work. Our goal is to help you be successful in designing and implementing quality continuing education activities that will be valuable to nurses and, ultimately, to their patients.

Being a nurse planner provides you with an opportunity to have an "inside look" at the educational design process. It helps you understand and appreciate the work that goes into designing an educational experience that helps nurses learn and grow. It also supports your own professional development! If you are interested in becoming an MNA nurse planner, please contact the CE department at MNA and we can get you started.

Pamela S. Dickerson PhD, RN-BC, FAAN

Director of Continuing Education
COPYRIGHT 2013 Montana Nurses Association
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2013 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Continuing Education
Author:Dickerson, Pamela S.
Publication:The Pulse
Date:Jan 1, 2013
Previous Article:Building solidarity in your local unit--communication is key.
Next Article:Membership report.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters