Dr. Cathy Heilferty, Associate Dean of the School of Nursing and Allied Health Professions, and Dr. Mary Wombwell, Professor & Coordinator of the RN-BSN Program, presented at the NLN/Sigma Theta Tau: Nursing Education Research Conference, held from April 19-21 in Washington DC.
Dr. Heilferty’s presentation, Weathering the Perfect Storm: A Multifaceted Strategy to Improve Nursing Student Retention, involved a case study in 2014 when the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program underwent several changes that inspired a renewed dedication to enhancing faculty-student relationships, increasing NCLEX-RN scores, and student retention. Academic coaching, a remediation course called Pathway to Progress, and increased positive student engagement led to improvements in all three challenge areas.
“The audience members enthusiastically shared similar experiences at their institutions,” Heilferty said. “Many had questions about specific strategies on how to offer academic coaching and the Pathway to Progress course. Fortunately, I could refer them to Dr. Wombwell's poster presentation at the same conference for specifics.”
Dr. Wombwell’s poster, Pathways to Progress: Academic Support for Students in Nursing Education Programs, shared specifics about an academic support program to assist students achieve academic success in nursing courses.
“The NERC conference was a national conference attended by 500 nurse educators,” Wombwell said. “This conference not only focused on learning but professional development and opportunities for networking. During this conference we had a multitude of learning opportunities reviewing posters, attending breakout sessions, and learning from colleagues across the nation.”