Dr. Smith-Vest is the Senior Dean for the School of Nursing at Rasmussen College, a regionally accredited private college and Public Benefit Corporation. Dr. Smith-Vest assist in the operation of the College’s nursing programs in five (5) states offering Master’s, Baccalaureate, Associate, and Practical nursing programs.
Prior to joining Rasmussen College, she served as Associate Director at the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Dr. Smith-Vest also served as director of Systematic Evaluation and Quality Improvement at Ivy Tech Community College and as Dean of the School of Nursing at Ivy Tech Community College.
Dr. Smith-Vest holds an earned Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degrees from the University of Southern Indiana. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Eastern Kentucky University.
Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) competencies have three (3) distinct cognitive areas of knowledge, skills and attitudes (KSAs). Development in each of these areas is necessary for nursing students to provide quality health care. In many cases, nursing education focuses on, and student outcomes measure, the knowledge and skills of the students. The presentation discusses the need for nursing and other healthcare related education programs to place equal focus on professional attitude development and the development of “soft-skills.”
Soft-skills, also referred to as “people skills” are universal requirements for any nursing student in the provision of quality patient care. Focus on personal behaviors or “soft-skills” reflective of attitude begin at the time of entry into healthcare education. Utilization of the chain of command, nursing process, and role modeling provide the foundation for the establishment of a “Drama Free” nursing education program. In addition, techniques and strategies utilized by hospitals to improve Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey scores provide actions programs can implement to support student development of soft-skills and professional attitude/behaviors.
The presenter shares examples and experiences in the establishment of a professional “Drama Free” learning environment. The utilization of a student Health Team Code of Conduct to reduce student-to-student and student-to-faculty incivility in the educational setting. Participants are encouraged to review and revise their program’s Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs), course objectives, and project-grading rubrics to ensure an emphasis on attitude. It is critical, for nursing education programs, to provide program emersion experiences addressing attitude.