CEP 817 “Problem of Practice”


For the initial segment of my CEP 817 “Problem of Practice” assignment, I am initiating a forum within my web-space in order to elicit suggestions, ideas, brainstorming and mentorship from my colleagues as I initiate the design process and attempt to tackle a major problem area that I have as Clinical Educator for Survival Flight at the University of Michigan.

The University of Michigan Survival Flight nursing staff has benefited for many years with low turnover and a staff mix of long term employees. As this group of long term employees with many years of experience reaches retirement age, we anticipate an unprecedented rate of attrition. A plan must be developed to prepare a pool of potential candidates for Survival Flight practice while addressing the limitations of qualified staff and an aging workforce.

Problem Analysis / Root Cause: 25% of current Survival Flight nursing staff plans to retire within the next 2-3 years. Over the last 2 years, Survival Flight has had a total of 3 flight nurses leave due to attrition and retirement. These three positions were approved and posted. One position was immediately filled while the other 2 positions remained unfilled for nearly 9 months. In May 2014, another flight nurse left UMHS and that posting remains unfilled due to lack of qualified applicants.

Applicants that meet Survival Flight’s rigorous requirements for interview and subsequent hire are becoming exceedingly difficult to find. In order to mitigate this, a paradigm shift must ensue so that motivated individuals will be able to meet the challenges and expectations for flight nursing at the University of Michigan.

With this in mind, a plan was developed to start an internship program. The first of its kind in the country, it will prepare the competent ICU / Emergency Nurse to become a flight nurse. The program lasts one year and will consist of 10 core learning modules, critical care transport time and procedural labs. The challenge that I currently face is that while I have written core objectives, I am unsure what the modules will look like, how to write curriculum and how to implement the program in a manner that will prepare these novice nurses for practice.

As I have never designed a curriculum such as this I will look at my goals for this program, the needs of my interns and move through the design process (Stanford Design Thinking Model) in order to create a curriculum that will assist in learner success. I will research curriculum design and network with colleagues in education (K-12, business and healthcare education) and utilize the ideas that may work best for my interns. As this curriculum will be a living and breathing entity, I will revise accordingly based upon needs of my learners and what I discovered as design flaws along the way.

I welcome any and all feedback from my peers and colleagues. I realize that while I am not a novice flight nurse, I am quite novice in the area of curriculum design. I definitely have “looking at this problem through the eyes of a child” thing down!

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