Emergency nurse skills-based education in Region Sjaelland, Denmark is not standardized between its four hospitals, resulting in variability of emergency nursing practice. To address this lack of standardization and raise overall competency levels, emergency nursing leaders from Region Sjaelland partnered with nurse specialists from Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, forming a task force to develop a standardized approach to regional ED nurse education. 290 nurses who staff the four EDs in Region Sjaelland, which serve a population of 817,000, participated in the regional program.
HMFP worked with the regional health system, and a team of regional emergency nurse leaders, to plan and implement the following critical actions:
  • Phase 1: Needs assessment We conducted a formal needs assessment of 290 regional nurses regarding their competency in 202 essential ED nurse clinical skills and assessments.
  • Phase 2: Strategic Planning. We assembled regional nursing leadership in Boston for a 5-day strategic planning workshop to:
    1. choose a theoretical framework for the new program (AACN’s Synergy Model)
    2. choose an education delivery model (competency-based skills stations)
    3. review needs assessment results
    4. choose skills/assessments to focus on during the 2016 educational program
    5. develop methods for evaluating and recording competencies
    6. develop a framework for project organization
    7. outline the roles of both trainer and educator

    The Danish group also observed a BIDMC competency day and received informational and inspirational training in best practices for emergency nurse education during this week.

  • Phase 3: Curriculum Building:  We chose 34 competencies and assessments to be validated in year 1 through 5 themed skills stations, taught during competency days scheduled at each hospital. Additional basic or lower risk competencies would be addressed through eLearning, simulation, and frontline education. In September 2015, our team traveled to Denmark to lead regional educators in a 5-day curriculum development workshop to produce content for all 2016 skills stations (learning material, teaching scenarios, scientific rationale, etc.) The five skills stations had the themes of: cardiac emergencies, trauma emergencies, respiratory emergencies, hypothermia, and medical administration/customer service.
  • Phase 4: Training the Trainers: In November 2015, the HMFP team returned to Denmark for a train-the-trainers workshop. During this week, the 32 Region Zealand emergency department educators and trainers completed 25+ hours of training, which included lectures and practical workshops regarding adult learning theory and teaching best practices, along with a simulated competency day with feedback from our education experts.
  • Phase 5: Project Launch 
We are proud to say that project launch happened in January 2016 and, by December of this year, all 290 regional nurses will have completed the first year of the education program. Planning for 2017 education began in June. We will continue to facilitate this program development until we undergo project transition to regional staff in February 2017. The project collaboration has gained positive feedback in the last few months. Abstracts describing the collaboration were accepted for an oral presentation at the 2nd Global Conference on Emergency Nursing & Trauma (Barcelona), and as poster presentations to: ENA (Los Angeles), EuSEM (Vienna), and DASEM (Copenhagen).