In 2019 Dr. Sloan Davidson, School of Nursing chairperson, had the vision to continue offering education to the nursing population after they graduated from UA Little Rock.
The Professional Development Center (PDC) at UA Little Rock was designed in 2020 from seed money supplied by Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield. The purpose of this program, administered by Dr. Joyce Simmons, is to promote and facilitate the continuing education platform for the nursing school. A team from IT Services and the Bursar’s Office collaborated with the nursing department to build out the web design and assist in the vendor integration of the Canvas web-based software product.
The center acquired Canvas as the Learning Management System (LMS) to fulfill their platform needs and manage digital learning. Within the operating system, a catalog feature was implemented to capture eLearning’s commerce site for patrons. The design features a storage repository for continuing education certificates needed for licensure, which patrons have access to at any time.
The PDC is designed to be an autonomous program for the School of Nursing. The center’s mission is to provide state-of-the-art expert educational content that is delivered in multiple formats to meet the needs of healthcare professionals. The mission supports these lifelong learning professionals while fostering evidence-based practice for their patients. The objective of the center is to help keep those educational flames burning, even for those nurses working in remote areas, or outside of Arkansas.
As the center grows, more varied online education formats will be offered, including virtual reality and hybrid courses with simulation activities. Interdisciplinary collaboration and negotiations with local community business partners are also being planned.
A thematic focus on the “jouRNey” never ends at UA Little Rock for our nursing students and those outside the community. Whether nurses are expanding their knowledge base in their specialty, branching out on new topics, or updating skills, the PDC can help them reach their goals and stay on the cutting edge of practice.