Case Study:

Statewide Clinical Education Study



Workforce and Economic Development

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The Clinical Education Task was formed at an ad hoc committee of the Pennsylvania Workforce Investment Board and the Pennsylvania Center for Health Careers. The mission of the Task Force was to develop recommendations that will expand the capacity of the clinical education system to allow for an increase in the number of students served within Pennsylvania’s nursing programs. Policy makers and practitioners also are concerned about the availability of clinical sites, the quality of experiences students receive at sites, and how these circumstances affect the supply of nurses.


The Task Force partnered with The Hill Group and identified and prioritized three major issues that influence clinical education capacity in this report:

• Faculty Capacity

• Clinical Sites
• Health Care Technology

The Faculty Capacity section of this report explains the impact that a shortage of clinical faculty can have on the availability of clinical experiences and the quality of clinical education. A multitude of entities, including the Pennsylvania Department of Health, collect information regarding the nursing profession in the Commonwealth. The culmination of this data suggest there is a need for more nurse educators in the Commonwealth. However, there is a need to modify and streamline data collection and analysis methods.
Health educators increasingly rely on varying forms of technology to aid in instructing new generations of health care professionals. Advancements in the sophistication of technology make it an important tool for clinical education. Technology allows nursing students to practice standardized skills in a controlled environment. This minimizes risk and maximizes the positive outcomes of clinical education such as increased confidence, competency, and collaboration.