Bridge Educational Gaps by Maximizing the Effectiveness of Your Virtual Programs

September 09, 2021

From elementary to college environments, virtual education is now commonplace, and, according to Jillian A. Russell, MSN, RN, NPD-BC, program manager at the Association for Nursing Professional Development, careful planning and creativity can make remote experiences just as—or even more—effective as traditional, in-person learning.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of virtual learning was growing, but technology and learner preferences created challenges. Today, as we begin to see some relief from the pandemic, the shift to virtual learning is expected to prevail.

In a session for the ONS BridgeTM virtual conference on September 9, 2021, Russell said that during COVID-19, “many graduating seniors completed their nursing practicums virtually without ever stepping foot in a patient room,” and she urged attendees to think about the impact that virtual learning has on the audience. She shared several concepts to improve virtual learning activities regardless of objectives, such as enhancing professional skills, completing academic degrees, providing education to patients or staff, or effectively providing telehealth.

Virtual education offers several benefits over in-person learning, including the lack of geographic limitations and the ability to easily incorporate and share experiences through video. However, it also has challenges. When designing programs, Russell urged nurses to think about their own challenges and irritations with virtual learning so they can design creative ways to address them.

Russell shared five best practices of virtual education.

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