Being a nurse educator, I would like to focus on a program that is created for those nursing students who have already received their associate degree and are just going to obtain their master’s degree in the nearest future. I am highly interested in this option because it suits my current situation and I want to get to know more about it. In addition to that, this type of nursing program is not discussed as much as others, which makes it even more attractive even though it presupposes some challenges. Finally, it is hardly possible to find a well-developed assessment plan for it, which proves that there is a necessity to develop one.
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The targeted population of nursing students is likely to be interested in an educational program offered by Otterbein University: “Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) to Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN)” (Otterbein University, 2016, para. 1). It allows students to become family nurse practitioners and provides them with a wide range of advantages during the process of education. There is a possibility to attend online courses for those who live in another location and evening courses or part-time options for those who are also occupied with some other activities. They will study in small groups, focusing on the graduate-level courses from the very beginning.
Assessment Plan Importance
An assessment plan is critical for this program because it is supposed to prove that students have successfully obtained new knowledge and skills that allow them to start working as family nurse practitioners in any healthcare system. Mainly, it identifies the expected student learning outcomes. The way learners fulfill them indicates the overall program effectiveness. With the help of an assessment plan, professionals focus on the improvement of clinical competence and caring that are critical because of the selected sphere and the development of critical thinking and communication skills that are required due to the necessity to solve various tasks working with other professionals and customers. Finally, autonomy and leadership are considered due to their importance for efficient practice in the healthcare facility. These outcomes are aligned with the program curriculum so that a student is expected to be able to act as a learner, clinician, and leader after graduation (Kapu & Kleinpell, 2012).
Being organized in an assessment plan, student outcomes are aligned with measurable indicators of program effectiveness. As a result, it facilitates clarification of goals of the program, ensures appropriate assessment of student achievements, and makes it easier to enhance the quality of the proposed curriculum (Avery, Cohen, & Walker, 2008). It also allows considering if there is a necessity to improve existing teaching and learning strategies. What is more, assessment can help the program to discover what students are learning and find existing gaps in these areas. It facilitates the alignment of the best teaching practices with learners’ needs. Student outcome data can be used to attract more applicants and allocate resources appropriately. Even though the representatives of the general public are not likely to search for the assessment plan of the ADN to MSN Program, it can make them realize the significance of the nursing profession in the framework of the delivery of high-quality healthcare services. As they start practicing, students tend to improve the quality of provided services due to the improved education they receive and focus on the humanistic philosophy.
The accreditation of Otterbein University is aligned with the quality outcomes of the curriculum of the discussed ADN to MSN Program. It is held through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). This accreditation proves that the initiatives and programs implemented by the university work diligently and meet all requirements. Accreditation is not a thing that all educational establishments are expected and supposed to obtain. The fact that the ADN to MSN Program received it proves that Otterbein University voluntarily decided its best to get this mark of distinction. It proves that the program is committed to quality and excellence in the framework of education and is engaged ineffective practices.
CCNE accreditation obtained by the ADN to MSN Program proves that it operates in a trustworthy manner and is focused on broad educational interests, revealing respect for interrelationships. In addition to that, it means that the policies are followed, while productivity and effectiveness are maximized. Accreditation ensures that the program meets the interests of the community and that its purposes and outcomes are good enough to prepare nursing students for their future roles. It also proves that the program was evaluated so that it meets accreditation standards and is likely to achieve its expected goals (Scott, 2010).
The fact that Otterbein University and the program it offers obtained accreditation is also beneficial for students because it qualifies them to continue education in other accredited schools. As a result, they are more likely to become accredited professionals who tend to hold the best positions in the job market and have more chances to get a well-paid job.
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Assessment Plan Development
In order to develop an assessment plan for the ADN to MSN Program, the faculty of Otterbein University should focus on its curriculum. It is critical to start with the identification of the outcome objectives so that it can be ensured that the program fulfills the requirements for MSN and that the students will obtain the knowledge and skills required to become family nurse practitioners and cope with the roles of learners, clinicians, and leaders. For this purpose, professionals will review program-related materials. Those outcomes that were identified should be aligned with the general educational goals of the university (Sukanjanaporn, Sujiva, & Pasiphol, 2015). Then the measures for their assessment should be selected. The assessment plan should focus on program completion and effectiveness, stakeholders’ satisfaction, and individual learning outcomes. In this way, it can be considered how the program affects the university, its faculty, and students, which also allows ensuring its effectiveness from different perspectives. Such an approach is critical because a lot of issues may occur because of the conflict of interests. Benchmarks and timelines should also be included in the plan for it to be properly evaluated and to have an opportunity to compare the results reached during different periods of time. Finally, reporting peculiarities and actual outcomes should be discussed (Wolf, Czekanski, & Dillon, 2014).
Thus, the development of the assessment plan for the ADN to MSN Program is necessary because it will ensure constant improvement of the program. It will provide educators with the clear identification of expected outcomes that can also indicate program effectiveness. Obtained accreditation will strengthen it and prove that the accreditation agency has assessed the program and concluded that it will both improve students’ knowledge and skills and facilitate the public’s health. Developing the assessment plan for the ADN to MSN Program, professionals should focus on learning outcomes and overall effectiveness.
Avery, M., Cohen, B., & Walker, J. (2008). Evaluation of an online graduate nursing curriculum: examining standards of quality. International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship, 5(1): 44.
Kapu, A., & Kleinpell, R. (2012). Developing nurse practitioner associated metrics for outcomes assessment. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 2012, 1-8.
Otterbein University. (2016). Associate degree in nursing to masters of science in nursing. Web.
Scott, I. (2010). Accreditation of prior learning in pre-registration nursing programs: The influence of prior qualifications on perceived learning during the foundation year. Journal of Professional Nursing, 31(2), 133-140.
Sukanjanaporn, P., Sujiva, S., & Pasiphol, S. (2015). Development of a nursing training programs evaluation: An application of alignment concepts. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 191(2), 748-752.
Wolf, Z., Czekanski, K., & Dillon, P. (2014). Course syllabi: Components and outcomes assessment. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 4(1), 100-107.