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Nursing Outreach

Shirley J. Farrah, PhD, RN-BC, director and assistant dean, Sinclair School of Nursing
nursingoutreach.missouri.edu


photo: MU Nursing Outreach program

Participants learn creative teaching methods such as clinical simulation utilizing high fidelity mannequins and standardized actors. This scenario involved a nurse talking to the grandmother about what to expect when her grandchild went to surgery.
MU Nursing Outreach provided accredited continuing education programs for 3,337 nurses and other health care providers in 2012.

MU Nursing Outreach (MUNO) provides high quality, affordable and accessible professional development programs for Missouri's nurses. With the half-life of nursing knowledge being less than five years, coupled with the complexities and changes in health care and health care delivery, it is crucial for professional nurses to have the latest, evidence-based knowledge and skills.

Alone and in conjunction with a number of health care partners, MUNO provided accredited continuing education programs for 3,337 nurses and other health care providers in 2012. MUNO's reach extended into 90 Missouri counties and 21 other states. Two of the many significant programs MUNO conducted during the year are highlighted below.

A gap exists between the need for competent nurse leaders and the current short supply of skilled nurse leaders in long-term care for seniors. To help bridge that gap, MUNO offered its fifth year of the MU Leadership Development Academy in Long-Term Care. The academy is designed to prepare nurse leaders and nursing home administrators (NHAs) for Missouri's long-term care settings. To date, 147 RNs and NHAs have graduated from the academy.

Graduates of this innovative and evidence-based leadership program report increased confidence in their ability to perform leadership skills and in their transformational leadership practices. They also report improvements in self-concept and self-image as leaders. Peers, subordinates and supervisors within their work settings also note significant changes after their colleagues participate in the academy. Employers find that retention rates for academy graduates 6 to 18 months after graduation are significantly higher than the average in Missouri and the nation.

Healthcare Associated Infections in Ambulatory Care Settings offered a one-day Best Practices in Infection Control for Ambulatory Surgery Centers and Other Outpatient Settings at four sites (Blue Springs, Columbia, St. Louis and Springfield) last year for 193 nurses. The innovative curriculum covered evidence-based basic infection control practices and content for developing a safe and just culture.

Pre- and post-tests indicated that knowledge, skills and attitudes improved significantly following training, suggesting increased abilities related to providing infection control and a culture of safety. A website with learning resources related to the project was developed to reinforce the principles learned.