Purpose for the Program
Change is an inevitable, ongoing process in the healthcare profession. When significant practice changes occur, opportunities present for nursing leaders to champion innovative methods for overall performance improvement. The Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) has offered a standardized approach to the teaching and practice of neonatal resuscitation since 1987. This program has more than 27,000 instructors who train more than three million healthcare providers. NRP guidelines were updated in 2010 through evidence-based practice that revealed a need for new teaching methods. Two labor and delivery nurses recognized the chance to revamp the way NRP was taught within their level III tertiary facility.
Traditionally, NRP instructors have conducted classes through a lecture, video, testing format, followed by a megacode to practice skills. The current changes by the American Academy of Pediatrics to the NRP guidelines have brought about a new education methodology. Instructors need to shift their roles from teachers to facilitators; which requires new skills for successful education. Each instructor previously had his/her own style of teaching, emphasized different points of NRP, and held megacodes that did not always offer the most effective cognitive, technical, and behavioral skills necessary for newborn resuscitation. The proposed change includes standardizing two to three scenarios of infant resuscitation, practicing together as an instructor group, and learning how to be less of a teacher and more of a facilitator so that participants will assume more of the responsibility for their own learning.
Implementation, Outcomes, and Evaluation
Initially, three standardized resuscitation scenarios were created. Next, a workshop for all unit NRP instructors was scheduled. Instructors were able to practice together and learn how to become effective facilitators of education. Proposed outcomes include successfully bringing current NRP instructors together, establish momentum for change, refocus on the fundamentals of neonatal resuscitation, increase the challenge for participants by their biennial NRP experience, and ultimately optimize improvements in the acquisition of improved performance in neonatal resuscitation. Staff and participants will be surveyed regarding their experience in this updated learning format.
Implications for Nursing Practice
The main goals for nurses are to create a consistent learning atmosphere, equally stimulating for all participants, led by a core group of instructors. The instructors use adult learning methods to optimize improved performance in neonatal resuscitation, which promotes safe, reliable practice. Finally, the program empowers program participants to champion excellence in the care of newborns.