March 26, 2020 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ --
It's consistently clear that nurses play a huge societal role as
educated, compassionate medical professionals and abundantly so in
the midst of the current world health crisis. Whether on the
frontlines, as administrators, educators or aspiring healthcare
workers, nurses continuously seek new knowledge and skillsets that
will add value for their patients.
One of the latest examples of this dedication is the
Southern Illinois University
Edwardsville School of Nursing's (SON) innovative Advanced
Nursing Education Workforce (ANEW) program. Despite the suspension
of on-campus activities at SIUE as a result of the ongoing COVID-19
pandemic, the ANEW program held its first continuing education
conference on Saturday-Sunday, March
21-22 in a virtual format.
Almost 300 attendees, comprising regional Advanced Practice
Registered Nurses (APRN) and students, participated remotely in the
regional conference as nationally-renowned speakers presented on
topics of opioid crisis, non-opioid pain treatment options,
recognizing addictive behavior, rehabilitation of the opioid
dependent patient, and long-term follow-up strategies.
"The ability of healthcare providers, and in particular, nurse
practitioners to appropriately serve a patient population
struggling with opioid use disorders within rural areas of
Illinois is of critical
importance," said SIUE SON Family Nurse Practitioner Clinical Site
Coordinator and Instructor Melissa Bogle, DNP, FNP-BC, ACNP-BC. "I
was incredibly impressed with the level of participation,
engagement and best practice sharing from attendees. Despite the
virtual environment, you could sense the collegiality of the
"We received so much interest from healthcare providers in the
bi-state area for this conference, so it meant a lot to us to be
able to deliver on our commitment to provide educational credits to
this group, despite current COVID-19 challenges," Bogle added. "The
majority of attendees are required to have this type of
opioid-focused education to renew their licenses within the state
SIUE SON Instructional Designer Jodie Nehrt helped with the
successful transition to a virtual format, primarily through the
use of Zoom and Mursion.
"We were fortunate to have a collection of speakers who were
motivated to share their content, despite the last-minute change in
venue, and attendees who were eager to engage and participate from
the comfort and safety of their homes," Nehrt said.
"Zoom was the technology that saved the day for us," she
explained. "We were able to schedule the sessions and offer virtual
attendance to this free conference using a free communication tool.
We coordinated with our presenters to fulfill their needs for
attendee participation and question-and-answer management.
Additionally, one of the sessions was a dynamic demonstration of a
software we use on campus, called Mursion, which offers mixed
reality for the practicing of professional skills."
"Dr. Melissa Bogle worked nonstop
on developing this conference from the beginning. Jodie Nehrt came in to work last week when the
World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic and we knew
that our live campus event would likely be canceled," said ANEW
Program Director Valerie Griffin,
DNP, PPCNP-BC, FNP-BC, PMHS, FAANP, assistant clinical professor
and director of nurse practitioner specializations in the SON.
"These incredible, dedicated women were able to transition this
large event to a virtual format without exhibiting worry or stress
over the process. They remained positive that we could pull this
off, and we did!"
Attendees expressed their appreciation to the SON for their
creative online management and successful execution of the ANEW
"During a time when faculty are stressed to get their classes
online, I am amazed at your commitment to those who registered for
this meeting," noted Margaret Faut
Callahan, CRNA, PhD, FNAP, FAAN, senior vice president of
Strategy and Innovation at Loyola University
Chicago, in a post-conference email. "The skills required to
make this happen so quickly, in just a week, are remarkable.
Further, the lectures were of high-quality both from a content
perspective and the technology used to bring this to us virtually.
It was clear to those of us who participated that your faculty and
support staff worked long and hard to provide this excellent
Funded by a four-year $2.75
million grant from the Health Resources and Services
Administration (HRSA), the ANEW program is a multi-faceted
educational effort that is creatively designed to increase the
number of nurse practitioners who practice in rural and underserved
communities throughout Illinois by
promoting a smooth and natural transition from the student role to
practicing APRNs into those areas.
The SIUE SON and its clinical partners collaborated on the
conference's development. Clinical partners bolstering the success
of the ANEW program are Chestnut Health Systems, OSF HealthCare,
Southern Illinois Healthcare, Synergy Healthcare Solutions, LLC.,
and the SIUE We Care Clinic.
The SIUE School of Nursing's programs are committed to creating
excellence in nursing leadership through innovative teaching,
evidence-based practice, quality research, patient advocacy and
community service. Enrolling more than 1,700 students in its
baccalaureate, master's and doctoral programs, the School develops
leaders in pursuit of shaping the nursing profession and impacting
the health care environment. SIUE's undergraduate nursing programs
on the Edwardsville campus and the
regional campus in Carbondale help
to solve the region's shortage of baccalaureate-prepared nurses and
enhance the quality of nursing practice within all patient service
venues. The School's graduate programs prepare nurses for advanced
roles in clinical practice, administration and education.
SOURCE Southern Illinois University