Distance learning refers to any educational experience in which the instructor (teacher) is separated from the student (learner) by geographic distance. Partnerships are being established between institutions of higher education and healthcare organizations to achieve a mutual goal, that of educating employees to work in a rapidly changing workplace environment. The authors describe one such partnership and the common issues confronted by both the academic and service institutions in implementing an outreach education program. The authors propose that these partnerships can be effective in implementing distance learning programs that meet the ongoing educational needs of nurses living and working in rural and underserved environments.
Naomi E. Penney, PhD, MPH, RN, Director, Department of Nursing Education and Research; Research Scientist, Research Institute, Bassett Healthcare, Barbara Gibbons, MS, RN, Nurse Educator, Project Outreach Coordinator, Bassett Healthcare, Cooperstown, New York, Angeline Bushy, PhD, RN, CNS, Bert Fish Endowed Chair, School of Nursing, College of Health & Public Affairs, University of Central Florida, Daytona Beach.