The purpose of this project is to develop a community based, online, perioperative, post-licensure education program for novice nurses. The Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) has identified a need for a comprehensive perioperative curriculum for the novice nurse (Dumchin, 2010). Literature review of current corporate and nursing education research will integrate concepts of a community-wide program based on Periop 101. Periop 101 is a web based education program developed by the AORN that is used for teaching basic perioperative nursing. Many hospitals utilize a traditional method of in-house developed instruction, while some utilize the Periop 101 program in a site-based format. I propose to create an online-based, community-wide program that allows local hospitals to centralize the didactic and clinical instruction of novice perioperative nurses for later employment in all local hospitals. The program would operate as a not-for-profit corporation utilizing grant monies and in-kind donations for funding.
The opening of three new hospitals in the Albuquerque area in the next two years will require as many as forty nurses with training in perioperative nursing. Learning perioperative nursing is an extensive, time consuming process. Novice nurses can take as long as eighteen months before they are able to function independently, experienced nurses require less training, although almost a year. In addition to the nurses needed for the new hospitals, there is also a need for additional nurses due to retirement, attrition, and nurses leaving the Albuquerque area.
Hiring nurses with experience in perioperative nursing is a difficult proposition. Perioperative nursing is not among the topics covered in current nursing school curriculum. Gaining knowledge in perioperative nursing is obtained through a combination of didactic instruction and on the job experience. Perioperative nursing was once a part of the nursing school curriculum; it was felt that a nurse should be prepared to function in any role. As nursing changed and became more specialized, perioperative instruction began to wane (Stobinski, 2008). More pertinent topics with wider applicability replaced perioperative instruction. This shift resulted in a change in how nurses learned perioperative nursing.
In order to have nurses with the knowledge to function in the operating room, hospitals themselves had to teach nurses perioperative nursing. Teaching perioperative nursing was often performed by the most experienced nurses in the unit. These experienced nurses may not have had any formal instruction on teaching or precepting. With little formal or informal networking among hospitals, hospitals would have to develop programs independently. AORN began developing a program for hospitals to use in teaching perioperative nursing in place of hospitals developing their own course. The result was Periop 101. Periop 101 began as a paper-based course hospitals could purchase. With the advent of the Internet and computers entering the workplace, Periop 101 became available on disc. Eventually, Periop 101 became a totally online subscription product.
The Periop 101 program is not a comprehensive product to learn perioperative nursing. The program must be supplemented with readings from recommended texts and the AORN Standards and Recommended Practices manual (Association of periOperative Registered Nurses, 2012). Periop 101 consists of thirty modules covering a wide range of pertinent topics. Upon completion of each module, the student completes a short assessment consisting of true/false or multiple choice/multiple response questions. Once the student has completed all modules, they sit for a final examination that consists of the same types of questions. A grade of 80 percent is required to pass the course and obtain continuing education credit for the program. My question is does the Periop 101 Final Exam portray an accurate assessment of the nurse’s ability to function as an advanced beginner perioperative nurse (Benner, 1984)?
Association of periOperative Registered Nurses. (2012). Perioperative standards and recommended practices: For inpatient and ambulatory settings. Denver, CO: Association of periOperative Registered Nurses, Inc.
Benner, P. (1984). From novice to expert: Excellence and power in clinical nursing practice. Menlo Park, CA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company.
Dumchin, M. (2010). Redefining the future of perioperative nursing education: A conceptual framework. AORN Journal, 92(1), 87-100.
Stobinski, J. X. (2008). Perioperative nursing competency. AORN Journal, 88(3), 417-436.