New York, NY. Nov 2, 2021 -- The pandemic exacerbated the existing shortage of about six million nurses and presented unique challenges for nursing education programs. A fall 2020 National Institute of Health report found that in addition to disrupting universities and academic institutions, ethical and logistical concerns remained about how to support clinical training in crowded hospitals. For the third year Macmillan Learning brand Skyfactor Benchworks, which provides research-based program benchmarking and assessments, is awarding the Assessment and Impact Awards for Nursing Education to recognize and celebrate the innovative ways that nursing schools used program assessment data to address these challenges, retain students so they graduate, and develop more practice-ready nursing professionals.
Despite the challenges during the pandemic, many nursing education programs continued on their mission to prepare practice-ready nurses. Many of them used program assessments to drive decisions that helped students learn and prepare for their nursing careers. Skyfactor Benchworks recognized three such programs during this year’s Association of American Colleges of Nursing (AACN) conference in October 2021:
Southern Utah University for High Performance, Overall Satisfaction. Their nursing program recently made improvements to the advising experience, implemented a portfolio initiative prior to graduation to help students reflect on their educational experiences and get jobs before graduation, and acquired new technology to support student learning.
Texas Christian University for Improvement, Overall Satisfaction. Their nursing program implemented several initiatives driven by student feedback, including a connection culture student mentoring program, a heath and wellness initiative to support self-care habits, and high-touch weekly interactions by faculty with students who are struggling academically.
University of South Florida for High Performance: Learning, Professional Values. Their nursing program recently made data-informed changes to their nursing curriculum to better mirror core competencies in the profession. They also added a new professional nursing course to emphasize professional values and introduced civility training into their program based on student feedback.
“Nurses are, in many ways, the backbone of our healthcare system and we’re proud that we can play a small role in helping ensure that these important jobs are fulfilled with a robust pipeline of students. Quality nursing programs like the ones at Southern Utah University, Texas Christian University and the University of South Florida are paving the way for the next generation of practice-ready nurses,” said Steven Ray, Vice President of Enterprise Solutions, Macmillan Learning.
Skyfactor Benchworks has partnered with AACN for two decades to offer benchmarking assessments that empower nursing administrators to better understand the program components that most significantly impact these important stakeholders, like employer, student, and alumni satisfaction. The winners were selected using a multi-step evaluation process that included an analysis of multi-year assessment data by the Benchworks Analytics and Research Team that identified programs that either had the best results or best increases in performance in areas like satisfaction, learning, professional values, and quality of instruction, as well as interviews with nursing program administrators.
Benchworks assessments are the most widely used programs in nursing education and have been available for 20 years. The various Benchworks Nursing assessments are used by more than 250 nursing programs each year and are one of more than 50 different assessments from Benchworks on topics important to college success, including housing, orientation, and student affairs and service. The surveys include questions regarding student happiness, safety, diversity and inclusion, facilities, costs, sense of community, and time management, among others. Past winners of the Assessment and Impact Awards for Nursing Education include Montclair State University, The University of Scranton, Bloomfield College, Colorado Technical University, Rowan University, and Seton Hall University.
Skyfactor Benchworks is a Macmillan Learning company that provides research-based program assessments and benchmarking for a variety of Student Affairs programs, as well as Business Education, Engineering, Nursing, and Teacher Education. The robust analytics Benchworks empowers programs to identify areas of improvement for maximum impact on program success. Benchworks assessments are rooted in research and mapped to accreditation and professional standards.
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