Background Academic programmes struggle to bridge the disconnect between theory and practice. The local university only offered a 20 credit critical care module, well below the recommended 60 credit minimum (CC3N, 2011), so with this fortuitous timing the hospital education leads and some university lecturers collaborated to create a programme to encourage praxis of what is learnt and then applied. This was achieved by utilising simulation and work based learning.
Methodology Utilising the universities existing theory based module, two additional 20 credit modules to run in parallel to provide additional learning opportunities through simulation, reflection and developing a practice development portfolio linked to the national step 2 competencies (CC3N, 2015). These are delivered within the clinical environment simulation suite of the hospital, utilising local specialists and experts, but accredited by the university at both degree and masters level.
The development of these two additional modules has been a partnership with the ICU Clinical Nurse Educator, Hospital Simulation lead and a University Lecturer. The resulting modules created seek to bridge the gap between theory and practice by utilising Evidence Work Based Learning (EWBL) and simulation, measured by actual learning, behavioural change and survival rates.
Results Delivering the modules within the Critical care environment has provided many benefits. The learner’s feedback of the modules has revealed an increase in confidence, along with individualised learning evident from their portfolios. As a unit we have achieved our goal of 19 nurses completing 60 credits in a year, in two cohorts.
Conclusion Utilising simulation with debriefing within the nurses critical care programme has allowed learners to reflect on their practice and embed evidence and research. This teaching approach looks beyond knowledge and competencies and strives for excellence in practice.
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