Development of an Interprofressional Honors Program: Results of a Needs Assessment
Repository Posting Date2016-03-29T13:11:51Z
Author(s)Slater, Larry Z.; Lim, Fidelindo; Navarra, Ann-Margaret; Stimpfel, Amy Witkoski; Rodriguez, Karla G.; Nelson, Noreen
Author DetailsLarry Z. Slater, RN-BC, CNE; Fidelindo Lim, CCRN; Ann-Margaret Navarra, CPNP-PC; Amy Witkoski Stimpfel, RN; Karla G. Rodriguez, RN, CNE; Noreen Nelson, RN, CNS
Lead Author Sigma AffliationUpsilon
Session presented on Saturday, April 9, 2016, and Friday, April 8, 2016: Honors programs are academic programs or curricula designed to provide qualitatively different educational experiences and learning environments for high-achieving students (National Collegiate Honors Council [NCHC], 2013). With a lack of evidence-based support of nursing honors program curricula and outcomes, the development of new programs requires a rigorous examination of theoretical frameworks, determination of student and faculty needs within the academic institution as part of a comprehensive stakeholder analysis, and appraisal of factors that will contribute to sustainability and operationalization of student, faculty, and program outcomes. Nursing honors programs have been increasingly recognized for contributing to the development of future nurse leaders (Schumann & McNeill, 2008). However dissemination of related evidence has been limited over of the past five decades (e.g., Gilles, 2007). The purpose of this study was to describe the history and current state of nursing honors programs in the US, assess the needs of full-time faculty and undergraduate nursing students regarding the development and implementation of an interprofessional honors program, examine faculty and student perceptions of the mentoring relationship and its importance in the success of an honors program, and propose key strategies for the development, implementation, evaluation, and sustainability of new nursing honors programs (or assist in the revitalization of existing honors programs). A team of five doctorally-prepared nurses conducted a systematic search and critical appraisal of the current body of published evidence related to the development, enhancement, and implementation of nursing honors education. A total of 30 published studies were retrieved during the time period of 1961-2014. Common threads among published studies were student selection and the admission process, curriculum design, and the logistics of program development (Lim et al., 2015). Operationalization and evaluation of program outcomes were poorly described and a theoretical framework was not applied for the majority of programs. Securing funding and administrative support were commonly described as crucial to the success of a program (Lim et al., 2015). These findings add to an improved understanding of honors education for nursing programs. Development of theoretically-based program objectives and criteria to evaluate student outcomes will be crucial to the advancement and sustainability of programs dedicated to honors education in nursing. Faculty and student perceptions of nursing honors education are largely unknown. Survey methodology was employed to conduct an online needs assessment among faculty and nursing students at a college of nursing in the northeastern US related to the development of an interprofessional honors program for undergraduate nursing students. Descriptive statistics were used to compare responses between cohorts and content analysis was used for narrative responses. Faculty (n=27) and student (n=142) response rates were 42% and 23%, respectively. Both groups valued the development of an honors program and 67% of students would 'definitely' enroll. Faculty reported interprofessional education (Interprofessional Education Collaborative Expert Panel, 2011) as 'highly important' (96%) compared to 78% of students. Expectations of mentors were similar, including coaching, role modeling, supportive advising, availability, and collaborative relationships. Facilitators of success were also similar for faculty and students regarding mentoring (83% vs 87%); however, financial support (63% vs 81%) and having a dedicated honors adviser (63% vs 79%) were identified as more important by students than faculty. Initial results add to the sparse literature and contribute to a better understanding of faculty and student needs for the development of an interprofessional undergraduate nursing honors program. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the National League for Nursing have not issued specific guidance related to nursing honors programs, although the NCHC does provide basic criteria for the development of a program (NCHC, 2014). While nursing honors programs hold the potential to further elevate the level of education among high achieving nursing students (Schumann & McNeill, 2008), there are limited studies to appraise the impact of such programs (e.g., Gilles, 2007). This current comprehensive review of the nursing literature and expansive student and faculty needs assessment provided the foundation for development of a program model, comprehensive program outcomes, curricular and co-curricular program requirements and opportunities, mentoring and leadership development, administrative oversight, safeguards for student success, and short and long term program evaluation for an undergraduate nursing honors program at a college of nursing in the northeastern US. A stakeholder analysis that provided additional input from administration, admissions, advising, student affairs, and the development office, were key in developing a program that would meet the needs of honors students, participating faculty, the college, and the university and provide for sustainability. Making nurses full partners in healthcare necessitates building a nursing workforce that is engaged in advancing their education to support the growing complexity of health care delivery across settings. Through the integration of student, faculty, institution, and professional factors to expand research, clinical leadership, and education, nursing honors programs can be an excellent avenue to encourage and sustain the transformation recommended by the Institute of Medicine's Future of Nursing report (Institute of Medicine, 2010).
DescriptionNursing Education Research Conference Theme: Research as a Catalyst for Transformative Practice
Conference NameNursing Education Research Conference 2016
Conference HostSigma Theta Tau International, the Honor Society of Nursing, and National League for Nursing
Conference LocationWashington, DC
Date of Publication2016-03-29
NotesItems submitted to a conference/event were evaluated/peer-reviewed at the time of abstract submission to the event. No other peer-review was provided prior to submission to the Henderson Repository, unless otherwise noted.
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