Department of Nursing

The UALR Department of Nursing is a vital member of the Little Rock community. For nearly 50 years the UALR Department of Nursing has educated nurses and is responsible for the placement of nurses statewide, regionally, and across the country.

UALR-educated nurses are highly regarded by employers as being well prepared and as having outstanding critical thinking and communication skills.

The Nursing Department is UALR’s largest department on campus with more than 600 current students, 20-plus full-time faculty members and six dedicated staff members.

The UALR Department of Nursing is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

The UALR Department of Nursing embraces the mission and scope of the University.  The department offers a traditional and accelerated associate of applied science degree program; a LPN or paramedic to associate of applied science degree transition program for students seeking entry into a registered nursing career; and a RN-BSN completion program for associate degree and diploma RNs who are seeking an advanced degree.  The RN-BSN completion program builds on the foundation provided by the associate of applied science degree program and provides a degree completion option that is structured to meet the continuing education and career enhancement needs of RNs.

The faculty embraces the mission of the University by providing quality instruction in clinical, classroom and online settings, and providing students with knowledge needed to contribute to the profession and health care needs of the community.  The Department further embraces the University’s commitment to public service, and has incorporated service learning components into nursing courses across the curriculum which have provided quality health teaching, preventative care, and chronic care to the community.

The faculty of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Department of Nursing has a common belief about nursing, the nursing curriculum, and the nursing practice of the associate of applied science degree and baccalaureate nurse.  These beliefs form the foundation of the curriculum model.

Individuals and Groups of Individuals

The faculty believes the primary focus of nursing is the individual or groups of individuals. Groups of individuals may be as small as two individuals or may be expansive enough to include large communities or populations.

Each individual has biophysical and psychosocial human needs that can be identified by nurses as being met or unmet.  Communities can also have unmet community health needs.  The associate of applied science degree program focuses on human needs (identified as oxygenation, fluid and electrolyte balance, nutrition, elimination, rest and activity, sensory function, comfort, safety, human interaction, sexuality, learning, and spirituality) while the RN-BSN completion program expands needs to include community needs and diverse health care needs. Community health needs are associated with the needs of an identified group of individuals. Diversity of health care needs is a recognized component of health care delivery.  Needs can be met or unmet in a variety of ways.  An individual can meet some needs independently, but may require interactions with health team members in order to meet needs that affect risk reduction, disease prevention, health promotion, and require health teaching and advocacy.

Nursing care focuses on unmet needs of individuals and groups with the prioritization of needs based on a logical decision-making model. Individuals grow and develop at varying rates and yet in predictable sequence.  Although a variety of developmental theories exist, Erikson’s theory is used as a basis for describing growth and development throughout the associate of applied science degree curriculum.  In the RN-BSN completion program curriculum, human growth and development theories guide learning and practicing comprehensive health assessment.

Individuals are also members of various cultures.  An individual’s culture affects all aspects of how nurses intervene to address human needs. Respect for culture and diversity are fundamental to patient centered care.

Health

Health is a dynamic state which relates to the biophysical and psychosocial needs of individuals and groups of individuals.  Health is defined by met and/or unmet human needs.  Health promotion includes risk reduction, disease prevention, and patient/family teaching.  The focus on health within the associate of applied science degree curriculum is on commonly recurring health problems and health promotion.  Commonly recurring health problems are disorders or diseases frequently evident in individuals receiving nursing care.  Health teaching needs are based on identified risk factors and prevention.

The RN-BSN completion program expands the concepts of health and health education to incorporate more complex research utilization and evidence based practice as a participative member of the interdisciplinary team. The baccalaureate nurse serves as a community and professional advocate while designing educational programs that are based on comprehensive assessments of community needs.

Nursing

Nursing is a specialized discipline that integrates knowledge, skills, and attitudes in the provision of care to individuals, groups of individuals, communities, and populations.  The synthesis of knowledge, skills and attitudes enables the student to achieve student learning outcomes and enables the nurse to obtain the competency needed for professional practice. The Quality and Safety Education for Nursing (QSEN) Competencies (http//www.qsen.org) serve as both programs’ graduate specific competencies. Program student learning outcomes are based on the QSEN competencies and are specific to the associate of applied science degree and the RN-BSN degree.

The faculty believe that nursing practice centers on the following competencies: Informatics, Teamwork and Collaboration, Quality Improvement, Patient-Centered Care, Safety, and Evidence-Based Practice.  These competencies form the foundation of the student learning outcomes at both the associate of applied science degree and baccalaureate levels.   The curricular and practice differentiation between the two programs is reflected in the content focus, clinical/practicum focus and student learning outcomes.

Nurses provide competent care based on a clinical and ethical decision-making model that is guided by the American Nurses Association (ANA) Code of Ethics for Nurses, the ANA Social Policy Statement, the Arkansas Nurse Practice Act, and other state and federal regulatory guidelines such as standards of care, best practices, and national board recommendations.

The curricular framework of the UALR nursing programs includes theory and clinical practice content in each of the three domains, knowledge, skills and attitudes.  The domains are interrelated and enable the student and the practicing nurse to achieve student learning outcomes and practice competency.

Knowledge

The knowledge base of associate of applied science degree nurses includes an understanding of the use of the nursing process, best practices, human needs and culture, growth and development, commonly recurring health problems, pathophysiology, pharmacology, legal guidelines, and standards of practice.

The baccalaureate nurse’s knowledge base expands to include interdisciplinary team roles and functions, research utilization, community health needs, organizational process, policy development, health education, resource management, and legalities and advocacy.

Skills

The skill focus of the associate of applied science degree nurse is on clinical decision-making in a structured practice or community setting.  The nurse uses technology in knowledge attainment, delivery of care, documentation of nursing care, and communication.  Delegation, organization and prioritization skills are required in nursing practice.  Associate of applied science degree nurses function as a member of a health care team and are responsible for accurate and professional communication with all members of the health care team.  Safety and competency in medication administration, psychomotor, and clinical decision-making skills are required components of practice.  The associate of applied science degree nurse must also incorporate accurate and ongoing personal and professional self-reflection.

The skill focus of the baccalaureate degree nurse expands to include the incorporation of evidence based practice into all aspects of professional practice.  Baccalaureate nurses use effective professional communication in a collaborative leadership role as a member of an interdisciplinary health care team.  The baccalaureate nurse has the ability to design and deliver educational programs to meet identified community health needs.  Competency in comprehensive health assessments of individuals and communities is attained.  The baccalaureate nurse expands self-reflection to include a professional reflection of career strengths, weaknesses and future goals.

Attitudes

The associate of applied science degree nurse demonstrates integrity, professionalism, responsibility, accountability, ethics and professional values in the provision of care.  These attitudes are also demonstrated in collaboration and communication with members of the health care team.  The nurse serves as a patient advocate in care decisions and incorporates lifelong learning into nursing practice.

The baccalaureate degree nurse incorporates ethical decision-making and professionalism into all aspects of practice.  Valuing of lifelong learning and professional growth is evident in practice and in future career plans.  Advocacy is expanded to include the profession of nursing as well as communities.  The nurse is expected to play an active role in promoting positive change in organizations, policy making and practice.  The nurse embraces and incorporates technology to promote quality improvement in all aspects of professional practice.

Improving lives through outstanding nursing education

Teaching

  • Dr. Molsbee was accepted for induction into the Organization for Associate Degree Nursing Academy for Associate Degree Nursing. This was based on his dedication and contributions to Associate Degree Nursing Education.
  • Faculty continue to participate in continuing education hours and conferences regularly. There was a group of 5 faculty who were accepted to present a panel discussion at INACSL.
  • Fall enrollment was around 700 students
  • Implementation of DocuCare (EHR) and Passpoint (NCLEX prep program)
  • 750+ applications received again in the spring 2017
  • One (1) faculty member is enrolled in a DNP program. Two (2) were enrolled in a MSN program during this time period.
  • Nursing 3430 was certified by Quality Matters and Nursing 4415 is the last stage of certification. This leaves only Nursing 3220 and 3230 as the only courses that have not be QM certified within the RN-BSN program.

Research

  • Dr. Sloan Davidson completed her PhD in May 2017. Her dissertation was titled: Presence of Authentic Leadership and Workplace Bullying in the Nursing Workplace: A Correlational Study; Dr. Davidson also completed a podium presentation: Tying It All Together with High Impact Learning Through Interdisciplinary Healthcare Simulation at INACSL; Poster: Lesson Learned: Utilizing American Sign Language Interpreting Students, Nursing Students and Deaf Standardized Participants in a Mental Health Care Interprofessional Simulation-Based Learning Experience at INACSL; Poster: Presence of Authentic Leadership and Workplace Bullying in the Nursing Workplace: A Correlational Study. UAMS Nursing Research Day
  • Ongoing research studies continue. The largest is a longitudinal study by Dr. Evans and her team focusing on student success.

Service

  • Dr. Davidson and Dr. Evans were both tenured and received promotion to Associate Professor.
  • 7 faculty members are certified as CPR instructors and continue to offer CPR to our students. Plans are in the works to have the entire faculty certified to teach these courses, which offers a lower price for the course.
  • Faculty continue to represent the Department of Nursing on different national and state nursing organizations, including ACEN as site evaluators (Molsbee, Gilbert, Davidson) and Evaluation Review Panel members (Molsbee and Gilbert)
  • The Department of Nursing was represented by faculty members on 13 different University and College level committees, which included several leadership positions
  • Faculty from the Department of Nursing participated in multiple flu shot clinics and other community service projects.
  • Sara Fruechting was awarded the Dean’s Service Award

Student Success

  • All courses have a faculty/student mentor program. Students are required to meet with the faculty member following failure of an examination; if the student is struggling with content; or if life issues are getting in the way of the student being successful. This appears to be effective based on retention numbers
  • The nursing department has acquired various study tools, which students can check out through our lending library. These resources assist students with study and test taking skills
  • Additional study sessions and workshops are offered outside of scheduled class times based on student needs. Examples include documentation, pharmacology, and math calculations

STANDARD 6 (2017 Standards & Criteria, Baccalaureate) Outcomes Program evaluation demonstrates that students have achieved each end-of-program student learning outcome and each program outcome. The nursing program has a current systematic plan of evaluation. The systematic plan of evaluation contains:

  1. Specific, measurable expected levels of achievement for each end-of-program student

learning outcome and each program outcome.

  1. Appropriate assessment method(s) for each end-of-program student learning outcome

and each program outcome.

  1. Regular intervals for the assessment of each end-of-program student learning outcome

and each program outcome.

  1. Sufficient data to inform program decision-making for the maintenance and improvement

of each end-of-program student learning outcome and each program outcome.*

  1. Analysis of assessment data to inform program decision-making for the maintenance and

improvement of each end-of-program student learning outcome and each program outcome.

  1. Documentation demonstrating the use of assessment data in program decision-making for

the maintenance and improvement of each end-of-program student learning outcome and each program outcome.

Data Location Responsibility and Frequency Method
SPE Biannually Assessment Committee Meetings held in May and December to report on Standard 6

6.1 The program demonstrates evidence of students’ achievement of each end-of-program student learning outcome. There is ongoing assessment of the extent to which students attain each end-of-program student learning outcome. There is analysis of assessment data and documentation that the analysis of assessment data is used in program decision-making for the maintenance and improvement of students’ attainment of each end-of-program student learning outcome.

Expected Level of Achievement Data Location Responsibility & Frequency Method
AAS End of Program Outcomes 1. Incorporate best practices based on current evidence, patient/family preferences, and values into delivery of optimal care (EBP) LOA:  HESI Exit Mean QSEN subscore  in Evidence Based Practice is 850 or above. 2.    Collaborate within nursing and healthcare teams with open communication, mutual respect, and shared decision-making in delivery of optimal care (T/C) LOA: HESI Exit Mean QSEN subscore  in Teamwork & Collaboration is 850 or above 3.    Provide compassionate and coordinated care based on respect for patient/family preferences, values and needs (PCC) LOA: HESI Exit Mean QSEN subscore  in Patient Centered Care is 850 or above 4.    Use data to monitor and improve the quality and safety of patient care (QI) LOA: HESI Exit Mean QSEN subscore  in Quality Improvement is 850 or above 5.    Use safety standards to minimize risk of harm to patients and providers (S) LOA: HESI Exit Mean QSEN subscore  in Safety is 850 or above 6.    Demonstrate understanding of information and technology to communicate and support decision making in delivery of optimal health care (I) LOA: HESI Exit Mean QSEN subscore  in Informatics is 850 or above RN-BSN Completion (BSN) Program Outcomes 1.    Integrate best available evidence, professional experience and patient preferences in the design, coordination and provision of care (EBP) LOA: NURS 4430 Program portfolio mean score will be 90% or higher  in  QSEN category Evidence Based Practice. 2.    Communicate and collaborate within interdisciplinary teams to ensure delivery of optimal care (T/C) LOA: NURS 4430 Program portfolio mean score will be 90% or higher  in  QSEN category Teamwork & Collaboration. 3.    Coordinate and design care incorporating the patient/family’s values, needs and preferences in evidence based clinical decision making in providing and ensuring quality care (PCC) LOA: NURS 4430 Program portfolio mean score will be 90% or higher  in  QSEN category Patient Centered Care. 4.    Apply quality improvement principles to develop plans and initiate actions to ensure continuous quality improvement (QI) LOA: NURS 4430 Program portfolio mean score will be 90% or higher  in  QSEN category Quality Improvement. 5.    Promote and cultivate a culture of safety to minimize risk of harm to patients and providers in a variety of health care systems (S) LOA: NURS 4430 Program portfolio mean score will be 90% or higher  in  QSEN category Safety. 6.    Utilize information technology to communicate, manage knowledge, foster lifelong learning, and support evidence-based decision-making in a variety of health care delivery systems (I) LOA: NURS 4430 Program portfolio mean score will be 90% or higher  in  QSEN category Informatics. Exit Evolve/HESI results Course Team Meeting Minutes End of Course Reports Curriculum Committee Minutes Faculty Minutes Annually (December) Assessment Committee Evolve/HESI exit results by outcome Course change summaries NURS 4430 Program Portfolios

Report May 2017: Notes: We will develop LOAs related to course testing Exam Soft and PassPoint data as we use these new programs.  Report of data for the current cohort will be done in December 2017. BSN outcomes will be measured for all N4430 course sections annually (fall, spring, summer semesters).

  • Development of new faculty in the role of educator
  • All eligible faculty members will sit for the CNE examination
  • Certification of additional faculty as CPR instructors
  • Additional funding for growth of simulation
  • Curriculum revision
    • Concept based
    • Block scheduling of OB and Peds in the summer to accommodate increased number of accelerated students
    • Continue to improve retention rates
Associate  Professor (3) Assistant Professor (16) Instructor (2)
  1. Enrollment (fall census, 1stmajor headcount and SSCHs)
  Fall Census SSCH’s Total Graduates
Fall 2016

701

5099

 

114

Spring 2017

579

3569

 

168

End-of-Program Student Learning Outcomes