Building Nursing Capacity in Nunavut

Nunavut
Project Objectives: 
  • Provide opportunities for front-line nurses at the Qikiqtani General Hospital to develop new clinical skills and expand competencies
  • Provide enhanced critical care training that is relevant to the needs of nurses at Qikiqtani General Hospital
  • Provide a smooth transition to entry to practice in a hospital setting for new graduate nurses
  • Develop greater capacity for nursing leadership, professional development and support in Nunavut
  • Provide opportunities for front-line nurses at the Qikiqtani General Hospital to develop new clinical skills and expand competencies
  • Provide enhanced critical care training that is relevant to the needs of nurses at Qikiqtani General Hospital
  • Provide a smooth transition to entry to practice in a hospital setting for new graduate nurses Develop greater capacity for nursing leadership, professional development and support in Nunavut
Project Implementation: 
Informal interviews were carried out at project initiation with the majority of nurses employedat QGH to gather information regarding their perceived learning needs. The resulting projectincluded enhanced critical care training, a mentorship program for new graduates, and ongoingprofessional development opportunities for nurses at QGH to improve their clinical and leadership skills.The project took place over a 16-month period at the QGH, a 35-bed facility located in Iqaluit. Afull-time Project Coordinator was hired to manage the project on site in Iqaluit. The Ottawa Hospital,the Critical Care Education Network (CRI), and the Perinatal Partnership Program of Eastern andSoutheastern Ontario were contracted to help carry out the project. In collaboration with facultyfrom the Nunavut Arctic College, these partners worked closely with the Project Coordinator toplan events and education.A mentorship program was adapted and implemented at QGH to support new graduates through their transition to work. Experienced nurses working at QGH were invited to participate in a mentorship training program. New graduate nurses from Nunavut Arctic College were offered a mentorship program orientation and one-on-one pairing with an experienced nurse mentor during their six month orientation period. Group mentoring sessions were also held approximately once per month.A total of 26 nurses at QGH participated in the critical care training provided by the CRI. Six participatedin a three-day course and were trained as critical care trainers. This allows them to continue to act in aneducator role for critical care. The other 20 nurses participated in a one-day course providing them with themost needed knowledge and skills for critical care. Simulation equipment, including low-fidelity adult andpediatric simulators, a chest auscultation simulator, a wound care model, a peritoneal dialysis model, and anostomy model were purchased to create an environment in which nurses can practice and maintain infrequently used skills.Additional opportunities for front-line nurses to develop new clinical skills and expand competencies weredeveloped. Nurses had the opportunity to participate in workshops on wound care, palliative care, chest tubecare, ethics and consent, communication, change management, working with different generations, team building, stress management, post-anaesthesia care, back injury prevention and acute care for at risk newborns. Work study trips to the Ottawa Hospital provided another opportunity for seven QGH nurses to expand their knowledge and competencies in a chosen area.
Project Outcomes: 
  • Nurses at QGH provided positive feedback on the RTA Project and the opportunities it offered
  • A comprehensive mentoring skills training course and materials were developed and implemented
  • Mentoring capacity was increased with seven experienced nurses receiving mentor training
  • Four of five new graduate nurses from Nunavut Arctic College participated in the mentorship orientation program and were mentored on a one-on-one basis throughout their six-month orientation
  • Critical skills were enhanced as 26 nurses participated in critical care training
  • Six nurses were trained to teach critical skills concepts and procedures at the QGH
  • Critical care simulation equipment remains on site for future use
  • Critical care policies and procedures were created and implemented at QGH to support nurses
  • All operating and recovery room nurses were able to attend a workshop to enhance their post-anaesthesia care skills
  • Clinical education workshops were recorded to act as a digital learning resource to nurses at QGH and throughout the territory
  • Seven nurses expanded their skills and knowledge through participation in a work study at the Ottawa Hospital
nurse