An Onsite Coordinator is assigned for each COS Program as the hospital liaison and is responsible for the quality of the onsite experience. The Onsite Coordinator partners with COS Faculty to ensure each Learner is progressing as planned. The Onsite Coordinator and COS Faculty work together, using dashboards to monitor Learner progress, in order to promptly make Program corrections and to intervene as needed with Learners and other team members. Two of the primary roles of the Onsite Coordinator are Advocate and Coach for the Learner. The Onsite Coordinator is responsible for scheduling the Learner experiences. This may include scheduling related team member interactions such as Competency sign-off and Cross-Department experiences.
For the Transition-to-Practice Program, the Onsite Coordinator provides the Learner coaching and support to complete the Clinical Leadership / Quality Improvement Project and to aid the Learner in problem-solving throughout the Program.
The Department Manager is the Learner’s unit/department manager. The Manager is key to the successful integration of the Learner and the Learner’s new skills and knowledge into the care team, particularly in Transition-to-Practice Programs. In those Programs, the Manager is responsible for working with the Onsite Coordinator to choose a Preceptor for the Learner that is a good match.
The Manager is responsible for scheduling the Preceptor and Learner as a pair throughout the Precepting experience. Being visible in the department and managing up the new team member or the new skills and knowledge of any Learner in the team is extremely valuable in creating a Lifelong Learning environment.
An onsite Clinical Expert may be identified for any COS Program. They would most often be associated with Competency Validation as the reviewer. They may also be involved in customizing the COS Program for the specific hospital. An example would be the Wound Care Nurse identifying hospital protocol and products to be added to COS module for that hospital. The Wound Care Nurse as Clinical Expert would create the material to be added to the COS course. COS Faculty would then publish that material in the COS module.
A Preceptor might be assigned to a Learner in any COS Program that has defined Competencies. They would be the person primarily responsible for verifying completion of Competencies by the Learner. Functions might include role model, educator, facilitator, and evaluator for a specific Learner.
In Transition-to-Practice Programs, a Preceptor who has completed the COS Preceptor Course is assigned to each Learner. When the Clinical Competency Validation is completed, the nurse is deemed competent to practice independently and the Preceptor’s work is completed.
A Mentor might be assigned to a Learner in any COS Program. Most often this occurs in Transition-to-Practice Programs when the Preceptor’s work is finished and the nurse has been deemed competent to practice independently. At that time a Mentor may be assigned to, or chosen by, the Learner.
Mentors work with the nurse in a less formal way than the Preceptor, meeting occasionally, providing guidance and council throughout their time together.