Remote Education for New Nurses During the Time of COVID-19

COVID-19 forced many aspects of everyday life to shift to the virtual setting, including education. A poster presented during the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Congress evaluated an initiative focused specifically on a virtual education program for new oncology nurses.

“Providing oncology-specific education to new graduate nurses working in the inpatient setting is critical to their success and patient safety,” said Hannah Gomez, BSN, RN, OCN, BMTCN, and Danielle Ready, MSN, RN, CNL, OCN, BMTCN, who co-presented the poster. Prior to COVID-19, courses took place in-person on a quarterly basis, “covering a range of topics across the care continuum.” And despite the challenges that COVID-19 posed, “there was a need to continue to provide education and maintain our orientation standards for nurse residents while following social distancing guidelines and promoting a safe learning environment.”

Sixteen inpatient oncology learners participated in the program, each with three to seven months’ experience. The virtual course consisted of six sessions of four-hour lectures focused on:

  • oncology overview
  • site-specific considerations
  • treatment modalities
  • complications of treatment
  • oncologic emergencies
  • psychosocial considerations

Teaching strategies included the use of Microsoft Teams, PowerPoint, case studies, polling questions, and discussion opportunities.

A post-intervention survey revealed high levels of satisfaction with the program: 94% of learners said they agree or strongly agree that the course met their learning needs; 84% said the virtual learning experience was good or excellent. Further, 98.5% said they agree or strongly agree that they would implement what they learned during the course in their practice.