Newsroom

Our Stories

Clinical nurse educators pilot new York University program

Toronto, May 21, 2013

By Emily Holton

Shirley Bell (right), a clinical nurse educator in General Internal Medicine and Stephanie Schultz (left), a clinical nurse educator in Specialized Complex Care, go over their class notes.
Shirley Bell (right), a clinical nurse educator in General Internal Medicine and Stephanie Schultz (left), a clinical nurse educator in Specialized Complex Care, go over their class notes. (Photo by Yuri Markarov)

With few formal, tailored education programs available to clinical nurse educators in Canada, the St. Michael's Nursing Practice and Education portfolio started developing one for the hospital.

In the meantime, the Health Leadership and Learning Network team in the Faculty of Health at York University was designing the perfect solution: a certificate program for clinical nurse educators.

“When we heard that York was working on developing a program, we got in touch right away,” said Heather Campbell, director of nursing practice and education. “It was a tremendous opportunity for St. Michael’s – and vice versa. The clinical nurse educators were very keen to continue to advance their education skills in a formalized program, and, with the help of a generous donor, we were able to develop a contract with York to pilot the program here on site."

York and St. Michael’s formally partnered to deliver and evaluate the certificate program, and in January, 100 per cent of St. Michael’s clinical nurse educators enrolled.

“So far, it’s been great,” said Shirley Bell, a clinical nurse educator in General Internal Medicine and a participant in the York pilot. “The program is educating me to look at different generations of nurses and the different ways to provide education and engage these groups. It is also teaching me skills and competencies on how to evaluate the education I provide, to determine if education goals were met. It was a big commitment for the hospital, sending me for this course, but it’s paying off for me – I’m loving it.”

The evaluation is now a formal research project co-led by Murray Krock, corporate nursing education leader, and Pat Bradley, assistant professor in York’s School of Nursing.

“We’re looking forward to seeing what this program can offer our clinical nurse educators,” said Krock. “And if the pilot’s successful, we’d like to explore the possibility of extrapolating the curriculum and approach to benefit our educators in other professions, beyond nursing. This could be the beginning of something bigger.”