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Improving Teaching AssistantsOrientation in a School of Nursing

A Lean Approach

Aaltonen, Pamela M. PhD, RN; Foli, Karen J. PhD, RN; Kirby, Kristen F. MSN, RN, FNP-BC; Simpson, Vicki L. PhD, RN, CHES; Walters, Becky MSN, RN, FNP-BC, CWCN

doi: 10.1097/NNE.0000000000000120
Feature Articles

Newly hired teaching assistants (TAs) come to schools of nursing with varying levels of experience in academic institutions. Therefore, the orientation of TAs becomes important at a micro level (student instruction) and macro level (mission of the organization). We describe a Lean approach to strengthening TA orientation and reducing waste and inconsistency. Developed solutions and tools through the lens of quality improvement are discussed.

Author Affiliations: Associate Head (Dr Aaltonen), Associate Professor (Dr Foli), Clinical Assistant Professor (Ms Kirby), Clinical Assistant Professor (Dr Simpson), Clinical Assistant Professor (Ms Walters), School of Nursing, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.

Support was provided by the Purdue University School of Nursing.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Dr Foli, School of Nursing, Purdue University, Johnson Hall of Nursing, 502 N University St, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (

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Accepted for publication: October 26, 2014

Published ahead of print: December 15, 2014

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