“The Leadership Academy was a lifeline … everything
I needed to do my job better.
I now have a savings account of experience I can tap
— Mary Beth Weeks, director of nursing,
The Baptist Home, Chillicothe
Source: MU Extension Annual Report, FY 2009
Keeping Missouri nurses up-to-date with the knowledge and skills they need to effectively provide care and fully participate in the state’s heath-care efforts is a primary goal for Nursing Outreach.
Nurses in Missouri and surrounding states benefit from a variety of face-to-face, Web-based and interactive TV educational offerings. In FY 2009, the program brought more than 56 continuing education programs to nurses from 99 of Missouri’s 114 counties and the city of St. Louis.
Nursing Outreach partners with several organizations to provide cooperative programs and serves as the Sinclair School of Nursing’s primary outreach effort. During five decades, the fully accredited, state-approved office has provided affordable and accessible professional continuing education opportunities to Missouri’s registered nurses.
Nursing Outreach hosted the National Professional Nurse Educators Conference in October 2008 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kansas City, in cooperation with the University of Kansas.
In July 2008, the program graduated its first 30 nurses from the MU Leadership Development Academy for Registered Nurses in Long Term Care, retaining 91 percent of its initial class for the entire nine-month program. Another 33 graduated in May 2009. With a combination of face-to-face meetings and interactive TV sessions, participants gathered one day each month — and in online discussion groups — to deliberate their nurse leader roles in transforming nursing home care and its culture.
Technology has come on as strong medicine for Missouri’s outlying areas, where nursing shortages are prevalent and educational and professional networking opportunities scarce. In cooperation with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Nursing Outreach recently released a free continuing education course titled the Management of the Adult With Diabetes, offered as a Web-based module and in CD format. The course, in development for more than a year, took less than 36 hours to attract more than 100 enrollments once it went online.
More than 1,867 nurses and other health-care providers attended Nursing Outreach’s educational programs during FY 2009, and another 1,194 nurses earned professional continuing education credit by attending conferences, activities and events offered in co-sponsorship with the MU School of Medicine.
During FY 2009, RNs from 15 St. Louis nursing homes met eight times via MU Extension’s Telecenter Network to participate in the second year of the MU Leadership Development Academy for Registered Nurses in Long Term Care. In addition to offering the federally funded academy, the program received $245,467 in competitive external grants and contracts during the year.