Initial Testing of my Flight Nurse Internship Curriculum

My Problem of Practice is the need to design an engaging curriculum for a new Flight Nurse Internship program that I am starting in July. As curriculum design is not a skill that I currently possess, it’s hopefully clear why this is a problem. I have created a prototype design and have placed it in a makeshift Content Management System


For my testing, I used a focus group to elicit information as to how “useable” and “useful” this curriculum might be to a flight nurse in training. I met with several “would be” users, shared the prototype and my ideas for moving forward, and facilitated a feedback discussion. For this discussion, I selected 5 individuals: 2 of which are practicing flight nurses and have been for 3-5 years; 2 flight nurses who have been off of orientation (initial training) for 12 or more months, and 1 nurse still on orientation and near completion. I presented the curriculum, allowed time for open ended discussion and free flowing ideas. I then gave them a list of structured questions to answer in order to elicit needed feedback. Based upon the following Discussion Points, I created a handout and gave it to each participant in order to collect individual thoughts, feelings and ideas.


Notes taken by the participants served as the initial set of data that I need in order to make revision. Additionally, I recorded the meeting and took notes of my own (what was said, interpretations, emotions and ideas for editing / revision). This served as an additional layer of data collection as I was able to “re-experience” the meeting. What was interesting about this is that I was able to capture additional points, thoughts and ideas that I originally missed while conducting the meeting.

After this “testing” procedure and analysis of the qualitative data that it generated, I plan on making the following revisions:

  • Changing when the intern will present information or create instruction (later in the module)
  • Adding a discussion forum for practicing flight nurses as well as interns
  • As much interactive instruction as possible (an example of this was shown and the group preferred more interaction with the instructional material than simply being presented the material)
  • Including Subject Matter Experts (SME) in instruction and / or integration of content
  • Eventual development of a “Companion Manual” to accompany core objectives and curriculum content.

Of course the “real” users will be the interns themselves. These individuals will start July 1st, 2015. Therefore a “retest” will occur when the interns are in the program and moving through the curriculum. Retesting and modification / revision will occur with similar focus group discussions at the completion of each of the 10 modules and after the first intern class is finished.

While I did get a feel for the testing process following prototype development, I think that I will truly understand this better when I immerse the interns in the curriculum. What I was hoping to accomplish with the focus group that I used was a perspective from an individual who recently experienced Survival Flight initial training. While one can argue that an internship will be quite different, I am looking for input from the learner’s perspective. This is something that I feel I did capture. With this initial testing run, I learned the value of heavily scrutinizing a product that I felt was quite solid. I learned that I do not need to have all of the answers because my users will more times than not have answers and ideas that I had never thought of (that arguably will work much better). I also learned that working hard on something and then asking for type of scrutiny that needed in order to make change is difficult but rewarding.

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