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So Much to Learn, So Little Time: Educational Priorities for the Future of Emergency Nursing

Valdez, Anna Maria PhD, RN, CEN, CFRN

doi: 10.1097/TME.0b013e3181bcb571
Cases of Note

The purpose of this study was to examine how and to what extent current societal and healthcare trends impact the educational needs of the emergency nurse. In addition, this study sought to draw upon that information to facilitate the development of expert consensus about the major educational priorities for emergency nurses during the time period from 2008 to 2018. A mixed methodology, qualitative-then-quantitative study design using a Delphi method was employed for this research. The 3-round Delphi study engaged a total of 50 emergency nursing experts with prior experience in emergency nursing practice and education to identify societal and healthcare trends and major educational priorities of relevance to emergency nurses. In this study, 3 rounds of questioning resulted in a total of 42 societal and healthcare priorities and 63 educational priorities with moderate to high consensus achieved in all categories. Societal and healthcare trends that were ranked as having the most significant impact on emergency nursing included emergency department overcrowding, increasing patient complexity and acuity, access to healthcare, mental and behavioral health needs, and an aging population. Educational themes or topics that were ranked as being an extremely high priority for emergency nursing included critical thinking, core emergency nursing competencies, triage, pediatric patient care, medication and patient safety, and individualized orientation programs for emergency nurses. An analysis of the highest priority educational themes indicates that emergency nursing experts are concerned with not only the content of educational programs but also the pedagogy used to provide educational opportunities to current and future emergency nurses.

REACH Air Medical Services, San Francisco Chapter ENA, Santa Rosa, California.

Corresponding Author: Anna Maria Valdez, PhD, RN, CEN, CFRN, 451 Aviation Boulevard, Suite 201, Santa Rosa, CA 95401 (

No funding was received for this research or manuscript. The author thanks the emergency department nurses who graciously shared their time and expertise by participating in several rounds of research questions so that this research could be completed.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.