COS INNOVATIVE BLENDED LEARNING SYSTEM

All COS Programs are delivered on a web-based platform provided by Brightspace, an industry-leading, learning management system.   

COS Programs are delivered using a blended onsite-online learning approach. 


While content is evidence-based and can be used in any hospital, the COS platform supports flexibility to customize content in order to meet the needs of the specific hospital.  


Below is an example of the COS Innovative Blended Learning System used in the New Graduate Professional Apprenticeship Program.

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Hospital-COS Partnerships Create Innovative NGPAP

Unique Program Delivery


The New Graduate Professional Apprenticeship Program (NGPAP) is a unique experience that occurs both online and onsite.  This innovative approach is referred to as Blended Learning.   It is cost-effective and easily client-customized. This makes the NGPAP affordable, flexible and smart.


Online, COS Faculty Coaches teach, coach, encourage and mentor the new graduate throughout the year.   COS has developed evidence-based programs that are accessible any time, on all devices that have a Chrome browser so the new graduate can complete learning assignments in their own time and at their own pace. 


Program courses are collections of learning modules, virtual simulations and competency activities. New graduates are engaged in conversation with Faculty Coaches using  emails  and Virtual Office Hours.  Cohort Conferences and Interactive Discussion boards provide forums for peer interaction.


Onsite, the hospital’s Onsite Coordinator manages the Program. Each new graduate is assigned a hospital Preceptor who has completed the COS Preceptor Program and a Mentor who has completed the COS Mentor Program.


The new graduate’s progress can be viewed at any time by the new graduate and all persons involved in the learning experience. These actionable learning analytics, support maximum productivity for the new graduate and all persons supporting this nurse.

Blended Learning System Model Legend

Program activities in the model above are sorted by more informal (left) to more formal (right) and online (top) to onsite (bottom).  


The blue dots represent what happens online and the black dots represent what happens onsite.

The combined blue/black dots represent onsite activities that depend on online/COS faculty resources.

NGPAP Blended Learning

Blended Learning: Online

In the COS Blended Learning System, COS provides:

     (1) the program structure

     (2) course content developed and maintained by clinical and education experts, enhanced by specific hospital input

     (3) online faculty coaches


COS Online Team is  COS Executive and online COS Faculty Coaches.


COS Executive 

A COS Executive works with the hospital’s leadership team to ensure successful Programs. Quarterly meetings, either web-based or onsite, are scheduled to review Program status. The COS Executive is always available for hospital leadership.


COS Faculty Coach

A COS Faculty Coach is assigned to each new graduate and is responsible for interacting with and guiding the nurse throughout the Program. The COS Faculty Coach partners with the Onsite Coordinator to ensure a meaningful learning experience for each nurse. Using the leading-edge COS cloud-based platform, COS Faculty Coaches are available to help the nurse successfully complete assigned Modules, Simulations, Competencies and other experiences. They interact with the nurse in a variety of settings including Cohort Conferences, Virtual Office Hours and email communications.


Key Onsite Activities include: 

Learning Modules  & Virtual Simulations 

Knowledge evaluation and competency validation are completed online when it is most convenient, anywhere there is internet access. The Program can be accessed on any computer, laptop or mobile device with a Chrome Browser. 


Virtual Office Hours

The Faculty Coach is available in the COS Virtual Classroom for 1 hour, 4 times each week, on day and night shifts, to answer questions and have personal discussions. Office hours are not a requirement.


Coaching Emails

The Faculty Coach is available to respond to emails as soon as possible, at least within 24 hours.


Cohort Conferences

The Faculty Coach hosts a Cohort Conference in the COS Virtual Classroom every 2 weeks for 3 months, then every 4 weeks for the rest of the Program. This environment is created to encourage an exchange of ideas among new graduates; to present and discuss topics of interest; and for debriefing, collaboration, and planning future Conferences.  


Interactive Discussion

Interactive Discussion works much like a social media page but is limited to Program topics. There are announcements and reminders from Faculty Coaches. Discussion topics are generated by Faculty Coaches and new graduates. 


Professional Portfolio

Each new graduate creates a Professional Portfolio in which they complete Journaling assignments and document personal educational and professional achievements. The Portfolio is helpful to organize educational activities, committee work, research involvement, professional organization involvement and volunteer work. 

The Portfolio creates a record that encourages a sense of accomplishment overtime and dedication to the profession.


Journaling

Journaling is done in the Professional Portfolio. The new graduate is expected to journal at least once a week about their experience. This structured debriefing encourages self-awareness and tracks progress toward competence and confidence as a new nurse. 


Dashboards - Tracking, Trending, and Feedback

Program Grade Books track individual and class Program completion. Grade Books, and related graphs and charts, can be viewed online. They are particularly helpful to track Clinical Skill Validation. 


Dashboards are used in real time to track new graduate progress in order to intervene in a timely fashion and ensure success at each step in the Program. 

Blended Learning: Onsite

The New Graduate Professional Apprenticeship Program takes place in the hospital. While COS is always available to teach, guide, coach and support the new graduate and care team, the key to success lies within the hospital.


Hospital Onsite Team consists of the hospital's executive team; Onsite Coordinator; Department Manager and Charge Nurse; Preceptor and Mentor; Clinical Expert/Nurse Educator; and others as identified.  COS provides education, guidance, coaching and support for these team members to help ensure a successful program.


Onsite Coordinator

The Onsite Coordinator, usually a nurse educator, is the COS liaison and provides Program oversight. The Onsite Coordinator partners with COS Faculty Coach to ensure each new graduate is progressing as planned. They use dashboards to monitor progress and intervene as needed. They are responsible for scheduling Program experiences by coordinating with the new graduate, Preceptor, Mentor, nurse management team and others as needed. 


Unit Manager and Charge Nurse

The Unit Manager and Charge Nurse are key to the successful integration of the new graduate into the care team. The Manager is responsible for working with the Onsite Coordinator to match a Preceptor with each new graduate apprentice. They are responsible for scheduling the Preceptor-Apprentice as a pair throughout the Precepting experience. The Charge Nurse ensures daily patient assignments are supportive of Program activities and goals. 


Preceptor

A Preceptor is assigned to each new graduate before the new graduate begins working. The Preceptor is responsible for teaching, coaching and evaluating the new graduate. They role model professional behavior and advocate for the new graduate with patients and the care team. They oversee the new graduate’s skill validation completion and work with the new graduate to phase in patient care responsibilities. The Preceptor works with the new graduate to identify knowledge and practice gaps and develop plans to correct deficiencies with the help of COS Faculty Coach.


Preceptors are prepared by completing the COS Preceptor Program. The Program uses the same blended learning approach as the NGPAP. There are Preceptor-specific learning modules and a Preceptor Faculty Coach who provides support with  Preceptor Cohort Conferences, Office Hours and Coaching Emails.


Mentor

A Mentor is assigned to each new graduate. Mentors work with the new nurse  providing guidance and counsel throughout the Apprenticeship Program. Mentors are prepared for their role by completing the COS Mentor Program. The Mentor Program uses the same blended learning approach as the NGPAP. 


There are Mentor-specific learning modules and a Mentor Faculty Coach who provides support with Mentor Cohort Conferences, Office Hours and Coaching Emails throughout the apprentice-Mentor experience.


Clinical Expert / Nurse Educator

A clinical expert may 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 a clinical expert would create the material to be added to the COS course. COS Faculty would then publish that material in the COS module.


Key Onsite Activities include:

Cross-Departmental Experiences

Cross-Departmental Experiences are learning experiences outside the new graduate's home unit but in departments related to patient care of the home unit. These experiences are planned to help the new graduate understand the patient’s total care as well as to understand overall hospital system issues. 


Clinical Skill Validation & Bedside Skill Sign-Off

The paper, skill check-off sheet is replaced with the online Bedside Skill Sign-Off. When a skill is marked as completed, it is immediately available in the Grade Book so COS Faculty Coaches, the Onsite Coordinator and the Unit Manager can track the new graduate apprentice's progress. In this way, progress issues can be addressed in real time helping to ensure success for the new graduate apprentice.


Clinical Leadership/Quality Improvement Project 

This capstone-like project is a COS-hospital partnering activity. The Onsite Coordinator, Unit Manager and Mentor work with the new graduate to identify and realize the new graduate’s quality improvement idea. COS modules assigned in this course teach evidence-based and research-based practice. COS Faculty Coaches lead Cohort Conferences to discuss quality issues and specific Project issues. Office Hours and Coaching Emails continue throughout this time.