Colleges tap technology to prevent ‘burnout’ in nursing students

Nursing shortages are expected to grow through 2018.

Relentless stress of on-the-job training and the looming specter of licensure examination have taken a toll on nursing students nationwide—a problem nursing school chiefs hope can be solved with an online program that tracks student progress.

About three in four students who enter nursing school earn their degree in the field, and beyond that, the passing rate for nursing students who take their state’s licensure test is around 88 percent, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

Still, nursing school officials say, students suffer from the burnout of long shifts taking care of many patients with a variety of health issues that require almost constant monitoring.

And like many higher-education programs that keep careful documentation of a student’s strengths and weaknesses—including how the student handles nursing’s many stresses—some schools have turned to a reporting system called ReadyPoint Nursing, which lets educators maintain detailed online files of each student.

Using the technology, nursing professors and instructors can more easily target instruction and help students move through the program without teetering on the edge of burnout.

“Nursing courses tend to be free standing, and there’s not a lot of communication between the people who run those courses,” said Audrey Berman, dean of the Samuel Merritt University School of Nursing in San Francisco. “Some students just have what we call reality shock, and that’s a big factor. Nursing is hard work. We need to be there to help them in whatever they need to improve on.”

Nursing students don’t often struggle with classroom concepts, Berman said, but rather the application of those concepts. ReadyPoint Nursing, a Pearson product, helps educators keep tabs on both aspects of nurse training, giving precise readouts of a student’s readiness, along with any areas in need of remediation.

More than most college majors, nursing schools don’t harp as much on a student’s quiz grades as they do on nursing performance—applying curriculum in the hospital or clinic. That’s why the ReadyPoint system includes more than classroom performance in its evaluation of a nursing student.

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