Home > Blog > September 2016 > Winning Strategies in Nursing Education

Winning Strategies in Nursing Education

Posted: September 16, 2016 by Sharon Caves

To create a top-notch nursing program you must have passion—passion for helping every single student so that they may learn and become better than they ever imagined. That’s a core belief we hold dear at Pima Medical Institute, where our Mesa, Arizona campusnursing program was recently ranked No. 1 in the state by the Arizona State Board of Nursing

What nursing education strategies make Pima Medical’s nursing school top above all 36 programs the state?

  • Evidence-based admission criteria and selection practices
  • Ongoing predictor exams to identify and remediate high risk students
  • Simulation of complex and ambiguous clinical and management situations
  • Early introduction to computerized National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN) licensing exam-style testing
  • Conceptual-based instruction both in the classroom and in clinical settings
  • Student-outcome-driven, flexible learning objectives
  • Focus on thinking and making sound judgments rather than on content or grades
  • Availability of both peer and faculty tutors
  • Continuous faculty education on learning and assessment methodologies
  • Faculty role modeling and mentoring of students in personal accountability for life-long learning
When you combine passion and conviction with these core strategies, you have a winning formula that makes for a great nursing program.

Pima Medical Institute Mesa campus Nursing faculty and staff. Pima Medical Institute's Mesa campus Nursing program was just named number one in the state by the Arizona Board of Nursing. Shown here are the program's faculty and staff. First row, left to right: Nancy Moreland, faculty member; Elvia Cagle, office assistant; Carmela De Leon; faculty member; Carl Schell, faculty member. Back row, from left to right: Jeanette Jones, faculty member; Sharon Caves, nursing program director; Debra Thibodeaux, Mesa campus director; Alesia Washington, faculty member; Doris Minx, nursing program clinical director.

The Arizona State Board of Nursing in its most recent Annual Summary and Analysis of Nursing Education Programs, released this month, provided its Program Quality Outcome Index Ranking,  publishing it as “… a measure of both how the educational programs meet the learning needs of students and the academic rigor of the program.
Board staff calculated on-time graduation rates from each program’s reported data and added that to the NCLEX first time annual pass rate, obtained from NCLEX Reports to calculate a measure of the program’s ability to educate, and make eligible for licensure, admitted students in an optimal time-frame.
The maximum index is 200 (100% NLCEX first-time pass rate and 100% on-time graduation). The top three programs under these criterion were: Pima Medical Institute-Mesa (183.67) closely followed by University of Arizona (183.62), and Northern AZ University (181.97).”
To offer an exceptional nursing program, instructors must see beyond the external veneer of the student; be passionate about finding their humanness, fears and dreams; committed to helping them flower and flourish; and approach every interaction, every teaching strategy, every decision with this thought at top-of-mind: How will this affect this student?”
Sharon Caves HeadshotSharon Caves, RN, MS, MSN, retired as the Nursing Program Director for Pima Medical Institute’s Mesa, Arizona campus on Dec. 30, 2016. She spent 12 years with Pima Medical. Read about her contributions and retirement on the East Valley Tribune's website.

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