Nursing Education Performance Initiative. Recognized Best Practice

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1 Nursing Education Performance Initiative Recognized Best Practice I. Summary information Summary: The best practice is called ARMS (Assisting at Risk Minority Students to Success). The approach is to: Identify of at risk students prior to academic failure. o Use evidenced based research indentifying risk factors in nursing students specifically focusing on minority students. o Use our own data based research of the predictors of success and risk for failure in nursing. Maintain a data base with academic grades, science course grades, in test grades, socio demographic factors and final course grades. At risk students are approached by letter, individually and in groups. All students are eligible to participate but we vigorously seek out those students that are identified at risk. o Offered test taking, study techniques in a structured format. o Tutors are available on an individual and group manner. o Each student has a faculty mentor o Students are provided laptop computers with test taking software and other common software. o All students making less than 75 on exam meet with the faculty and go over exams Follow the student to completion of the and NCLEX pass. Total Start-up Costs: $17,834 (grant funded) Total On-going Costs: $25, per year for tutors and test taking support. For more information about this best practice, contact:

2 Contact Person: Mary Jane Hamilton RN, PhD Title: Dean & Professor of Nursing Institution: Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Address Telephone Number: II. Background Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution with demographics of 48% Caucasian, 39% Hispanic, 5% Black, 5% International, 2% Asian and 1% other. The College of Nursing and Health Sciences (CONHS) is the youngest College within the university and has the most rapid growth. At the present time we have about 85 students that are actively enrolled in the CONHS. Nursing majors, both graduate and undergraduate, constitute the largest number of students in the college; 4 undergraduate and 335 graduate students. CONHS demographics mirror the university with the exception that our minority students range from 54 to 58%. Currently admission criteria for our pre licensure students consist of two elements, last sixty hour GPA of 3. and completion of all prerequisites for the nursing. Up until fall 28 admission was only in Sept with a class size of 15 students. We now admit 3 times a year with 8 in the fall and spring and 4 in the summer. In addition to the onsite class there is an online tract that admits 5 students per year. Previous attempts at working with at-risk students consisted of sporadic tutoring and counseling by faculty. III. Project Need PROBLEM: Students identified as academic at-risk lacked a coordinated support resulting in more than 15% of incoming nursing students experiencing academic failure. Strategy Description Include a brief narrative for the best practice followed by a matrix for each of the four major stages of its development. Purpose of the strategy was to identify students at risk for academic failure before they reach a point of failure. Educational research has identified demographic and academic indicators that predict success and/or difficulty. Strategy

3 consisted of systematic assessment of student factors and maintaining and tracking those indicators prior to and during academic studies and building a comprehensive of professional and academic support that is culturally sensitive. A. Initiation Describe the resources and activities needed prior to implementing the best practice. Activity Description Expected Outcome (s)/s Position 1. Identification of at-risk minority students prior to entry into nursing Data will be collected on demographic and academic risk factors as identified by previous educational research for incoming students. Purpose is to identify at-risk Database Coordinator Intervention Specialist (faculty member) Four weeks prior to the student s entry first semester. 2. Increase number of minority and disadvantaged students retained in A&M nursing 85% of minority and disadvantaged students would be retained and graduate from the. Tracking by Dean & Coordinator Cohort identified at beginning of nursing B. Implementation Describe the steps needed to implement the best practice.

4 Activity Description Expected Outcome (s)/s Position 1. Development of a comprehensive retention plan based on identified at-risk characteristics of minority nursing candidates 1. Each Student was provided a mentor. 9% of students utilized their mentors. Coordinator Beginning of each semester $ 2. Provide tutors, laptop computers, and test taking seminar for students. 1. Tutoring both peers and RN tutors made available to the students. 2. Class was set up for content enrichment, study skills, and test-taking was set up for the following semester. Coordinated effort with course coordinators to identify tutors. Test taking seminars set up with counseling center. ( Coordinator) Laptops checked out to students who demonstrated need (Lab manager) Schedule for tutoring set up first two weeks of semester. Tutors $2/hr for test taking seminars Laptops $8each 3. Referrals arranged with the counseling center for students with test-taking anxiety and other psychosocial issues. 3. Referrals were made to counseling for anxiety management, test taking and some study skills Course Coordinators As needed

5 C. Evaluation Describe the activities needed to evaluate the best practice. Activity Description Expected Outcome (s)/s Position 1. Identification of at-risk minority students prior to entry into nursing Data entered into the comprehensive database identified at risk students 8% rate Coordinator/ remediation specialist 2. Increase number of minority and disadvantaged students retained in A&M nursing 9% of minority and disadvantaged students retained in the nursing Administrative team D. Refinement and Modification Describe the activities to refine and modify the best practice once initially introduced.

6 Activity Description Expected Outcome (s)/s Position 1. Orientation of new faculty to the and review for ongoing faculty purpose and processes of the Faculty volunteer to be student mentors and develop individual student plans based on database and academic test scores. Coordinator/ remediation specialist 2. Constant orientation of tutors Tutors utilize good practices for working with students, utilize adult learning principles. Administrative team IV. Unanticipated Challenges and Benefits Present these observations (and any of the institution s possible responses) in bullet format. Faculty take an interest in assisting students to succeed when there is a strong support plan. Administration and others outside of the nursing use nursing as the example for student retention and success Students verbalize that faculty supports and helps them to succeed. Students and faculty see the educational process as a partnership. New faculty bring ideas from previous teaching positions and sometimes inadvertently sabotage the if not orientated.

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