Sanford nurses continue their education on the job

ANCC accreditation offers professional development without extra costs

Sanford nurses continue their education on the job

The best nurses give the best patient care.

For that reason, Sanford Health offers continuing education to keep nurses freshly trained on the latest in health care for their entire careers. Recently, Sanford Health became an accredited provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Previously, Sanford Health was an ANCC-approved provider of continuing education but offered contact hours through the Ohio Nurses Association.

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To earn accreditation, Sanford Health has proven it has structural support for educational programs, has thoughtfully designed and evaluated its educational activities, and offers courses that make a measurable difference to nurses, said Kathy Manning, MS, RN, NPD-BC, an RN clinical educator and nurse planner for the Sanford Health Sioux Falls region and the Good Samaritan Society. She works alongside Brenda Wold, BSN, RN, NPD-BC, an RN clinical educator and nurse planner for Sanford Health in Fargo, Bemidji and Bismarck.

Those letters after their names reveal a personal commitment to continuing ed. Their current roles showcase their professional commitment: They coordinate courses that help nurses earn the continuing education contact hours they need to keep their licenses current or earn specialty certifications.

Latest care for patients

Sanford can design and deliver contact hours for 30-minute training sessions, day-long symposiums and multi-day courses, all in-house and at little to no extra cost to nurses. A recent class listing includes:

  • SAFE (Sanford Accountability For Excellence) for Nurse Preceptors
  • Human Lactation and Breastfeeding Basics
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Series
  • Optimizing Diabetes Care in the Hospital
  • Foundations of Faith Community Nursing
  • Castle of Care Symposium: Trauma, Emergency and Critical Care

For another example, Manning is working with a diabetes educator whose team needs 15 continuing education hours every year. To help nurses complete those hours, they plan an annual diabetes care conference with Sanford’s RN clinical and diabetes educators.

“The purpose of the conference is to provide updates in care and management and what’s new in diabetes and diabetes complications,” Manning said. “They really depend on us to provide that every year.”

What ANCC accreditation means to nurses is access to high-quality continuing education hours that are recognized both nationally and globally. With few exceptions, Sanford nurses can renew their skills and earn new certifications without traveling outside the company or paying out of pocket, Wold explained.

What it means to patients is better health.

“In the end, a nurse that is up to date on education, is using best practices, is using evidence-based practice, is involved in their professional growth and development is going to be a better nurse, take better care of the patient, and then ultimately … our patient outcomes are going to improve,” Wold said.

Lifelong learning for nurses

Nurses who have benefitted include advanced practice RN Dawn Seeley. As Sanford Health NICHE coordinator – which stands for Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders – she’s the keeper of the organization’s work to improve health care for patients ages 65 and up.

Seeley said ANCC accreditation gives staff confidence that the courses they take meet the highest standards and will support them in meeting licensing and certification requirements.

Jamie Dickmeyer, RN, nurse manager of the Sanford Cancer Center in Sioux Falls, appreciates that the courses are based on nurses’ experiences in patient care. If they notice an opportunity for training, they can go to Sanford Health continuing education to fill the need.

“ANCC-accredited continuing education has a nurse-driven approach with foundational patient education at its core, making it, in my opinion, the most impactful form of education for my role,” Dickmeyer said.

Rhonda Jensen, advanced practice RN and clinical nurse specialist for the Diabetes Care Center at Sanford USD Medical Center, has attended ANCC continuing education programs throughout her career.

“These programs always provide me with new information that is of excellent quality and professionally provided,” she said.

Amy Johnson, RN, clinical supervisor for Sanford AirMed in Sioux Falls, calls ANCC-accredited education “top notch.”

“As a flight team, we see patients and families on their worst day,” she said. “ANCC-accredited education ensures that we are ready to care for not only the patient but the families and staff members around us.”

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Posted In Bemidji, Bismarck, Fargo, Nursing and Nursing Support, People & Culture, Sioux Falls