Grant Application

Nicole Hood, MSN, RN-BC, COS-C, UPMC Home Healthcare

Proposed Innovation

UPMC Home Healthcare has developed a Graduate Nurse (GN) Program to recruit greatly needed nurses to care for patients in-home. These new nurses — who often work in the field independently — need training to care for a wide variety of patient care needs, including those receiving care after surgery and undergoing palliative, cancer, and infusion treatments.

This project aims to enhance training through use of a graduate nurse skills lab where nurses can gain hands-on experience and practice high-tech and complex care skills.

Improvements in Action

The simulation lab will be used during onboarding of new graduate nurses in home health. Various stations will allow nurses to practice a variety of skills, including wound care, ostomy care, injections, sterile urinary catheter change techniques, vital sign assessments, and listening to lung sounds. A medical manikin will be used to create realistic situations requiring nurses to use basic to advanced nursing skills.

Intended Outcomes

Establishing a simulation lab will increase patient safety while creating a pool of highly qualified registered nurses who have encountered realistic simulations of situations often encountered in home health settings. It also will help graduate nurses to develop the confidence, critical thinking, and decision-making skills needed to work independently.