I wasn't always a techy...although as a child, I did like to tinker with electronics, always loved gadgets and going to electronic stores to check out the latest innovations...It was a role transition in my prior place of employment that had a huge impact on my professional narrative.
Allow me to back track and introduce myself...my name is Renee. I am a Registered Nurse. I am a Registered Nurse who LOVES Education, Technology and the blissful integration of the two. I have been an RN for 17 years (time really flies! I remember when I got the letter in the mail when I passed the NCLEX- not even sure if they send letters anymore). My specialty (when I was in the clinical arena) was Adult Med-Surg, with a concentration on the surgical patient. I worked in a number of facilities, units and sub-specialties and learned so much in my 5 years at the bedside. Yes, 5 years is a short time to be at the bedside, but I made sure to move around a lot. I always wanted to learn and see more in any position I held. I always came on the scene, in any position I held, and instantly felt that there were better ways of doing what we were doing. I felt that the adage "well this is how it has always been done" was concerning and that there had to be better ways. I spent some time working in the outpatient setting as well as in home care, experiences that also allowed for growth and expansion of clinical knowledge. It was while I was working simultaneously in home care and as a Clinical Instructor for a BSN program in a prominent nursing school in NYC, did I realize, how much I loved Education. I had a knack for it...and still do :). It was fulfilling and gratifying when my patients felt at ease with the information I shared with them and they were empowered with the knowledge of their disease process and our plan of care. It was just as gratifying to see the Ah-Ha moments with my students as their Clinical Instructor.
I went on to complete my MSN as a Clinical Nurse Specialist with a concentration in Education. My former role as Corporate Nurse Educator really honed my skills as an Educator. I later became an ANCC Certified Nursing Professional Development Specialist, then became the co-lead coordinator of our systemwide learning management system (LMS), where I played an integral role in the launch and rollout of a brand new LMS for all of Nursing Education across the health system. This was a health system where, at the time, employed 13,000 nurses and myself and my colleague were the 2 go-to ladies for this brand new way of collecting, storing and documenting learning for Nursing. It was a phenomenal experience, probably one of the best of all my experiences in Nursing. I was at the table with Corporate leadership, representing Nursing, giving us a voice in a space where we are often voiceless...educational technology. It was an area I never really looked into until it became part of me...I was now having regular discussions with IT...speaking their language: SCORM/AICC compliant, upload, download, learning object, bandwidth, and the list goes on. It was all foreign to me prior to this point, but I graciously Thank my prior Nursing leadership for being open minded and allowing me to work with amazing Directors of Nursing Education, to get a peek into their world and see how best we can deliver education to our Nursing staff. See, it wasnt the LMS itself that sparked my passion for educational technology, it was the level of engagement (minimal), knowledge retention and staff satisfaction that drew me in. It was those factors that made me see that Nursing Education needed to fire up their creative, innovative juices [juices that are often times inherent in those with the Nurse and Nurse Educator title], and provide education for our staff that can produce outcomes. Big, positive outcomes, in the way of decreased patient errors, decreased falls, leading to decreased hospital organization costs related to these and other metrics being measured. This would all be at the hands of empowered Nurse Educators/Professional Development Practitioners that took a chance and decided to change course from doing the same 100-slide electronic presentation that was yielding minimal completion or compliance, to trying to integrate technology, gaming, polling--really using the active learning approach!
This role also spawned the publishing of an article on the elements needed for the successful implementation of an LMS for Nursing Education, not just within a hospital, but within a multi-facility health system (article published in The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 2014). There have since been other publications with a slightly different focus but same concept of education technology. It also spawned (and continues to spawn) numerous, well attended speaking engagements and poster presentations...as well as my new role. With the support of my family and friends, I decided to venture into the world of Nurse Entrepreneurship...a world I am still learning about to this day, 1 year and 2 months after saying goodbye to my former role. I wanted to take the wealth of knowledge and experience I gained in Education from this role, and leverage that into something where I can take the lead in consulting, collaborating and partnering with key stake holders in Nursing. I also continue to maintain my positions as adjunct faculty for Instructor-led and online courses for 2 universities in the NY area.
I am a Nursing Professional Development and Education Consultant. I have a passion for the increased integration of education technology to enhance nurse learner engagement. I can provide solutions for Nursing Education in academia as well as professional development. My services can help design or build out existent Nursing Education curricula and professional development programs that are diverse, can be applied to a multi-generational audience, tap into various learning styles and preferences and overall enhance learner engagement. I am there for the Educators. I am there to meet organizational goals. At the end of the day, I am there for the patient to make sure they are being cared for by staff who take a vested interest in their obligation as lifelong learners. If Nurses are not out there sharpening their saw and improving themselves each day, the patient unfortunately will be at risk.
In the upcoming blog posts, I will address the importance of improved Learner Engagement, my other passion and platform, in which I share content about often on LinkedIn, as I feel this is especially important in Nursing. The engaged learner absorbs the content, they own the content and are able to turn the content from knowledge gained, to knowledge that can be applied, all with the main goal of improved patient care and outcomes.
Stay tuned! Browse the site, subscribe and connect with me and let's see what solutions I can provide for your department and/or organization to enhance nurse learner engagement. Free phone consultations provided*
*Free phone consultations are limited to 30 minutes