NCIN to Launch Online Pre-Immersion Program Supplement for the 2012-2013 School Year

New Careers in Nursing’s (NCIN) Pre-Immersion Program (PIP) has been highly successful in helping students improve their time management, critical thinking, study and other skills crucial to completing an accelerated nursing degree. NCIN leaders launched the PIP in 2008 in response to concerns that many accelerated nursing students were not fully prepared for the rigors of the program they were about to enter.

For the 2010-2011 school year, NCIN launched a PIP Toolkit to better equip NCIN grantee institutions to provide the pre-entry support, mentoring and leadership development the PIP offered. Using the Toolkit, NCIN grantee institutions have been able to provide incoming students with valuable information and background that prepares them for accelerated baccalaureate and master’s nursing programs and helps them succeed in their courses. To build on that success, NCIN is launching the PIP Online Supplement in August of this year.

“Many students in our accelerated programs are already digitally active,” said Elizabeth Speakman, EdD, RN, CDE, ANEF, an associate professor of Nursing at Thomas Jefferson University and a member of the task force that developed the Supplement. “Much of their coursework is either online or has an online component. Offering an online supplement for the PIP that will help get students acclimated to nursing before they start their coursework in an accelerated program not only fits in with students’ predilection for online interaction, it also ensures consistency across the NCIN grantee institutions and helps build a feeling of connection with our students, even before they start the program. That helps increase our success rates and improves retention.”

While several institutions had already created their own online resources related to the PIP, the leadership of NCIN thought it would be most beneficial to have a single online supplement to which all NCIN grantee institutions could have access. NCIN used PIP surveys to determine which resources and activities users found most useful, and the PIP Online Supplement Task Force held meetings and discussions to determine which items could be feasibly included in an online resource and which were most important to include.

“It wasn’t very hard to come up with the units,” said Bennie Marshall, EdD, RN, professor and chair of the Department of Nursing and Allied Health at Norfolk State University, who also served on the Task Force. “On the Task Force, we had great diversity and several people who had created online resources.”

In this first year, the PIP Online Supplement will include modules featuring video, PowerPoint presentations, questionnaires and more in the following units:

1.    Welcome to Nursing, which will introduce students to the roles of nurses and nursing students, including how nurses work as part of an interdisciplinary patient care team;

2.    Developing Survival Skills, which will review the skills students must master to succeed in accelerated degree programs, help them develop strategies to acquire those skills, and describe approaches to enhancing those skills;

3.    Math Refresher, which will help students strengthen their math skills, with a focus on conversions and dosages;

4.    Medical Terminology, which will provide students with a basic understanding of medical terminology and describe the process they will need to master in order to learn the terminology used in nursing; and

5.    Leadership Video Bank, which will feature inspirational video of successful nurses from underrepresented populations discussing leadership, their nursing journeys and more.


Gail Schoen Lemaire, PhD, PMHCNS, BC, CNL, associate professor and director of the Clinical Nurse Leader program at the University of Maryland School of Nursing, helped develop the unit on Medical Terminology. “In face-to-face sessions prior to the start of the semester, it is difficult to cover everything students really need to know to begin an accelerated program,” said Lemaire. “The online modules provide students with concise content and greater accessibility that allows them to review the material in their own time frame and to return to it whenever they need a refresher. For instance, because of the large amount of information to be learned and because of their relative lack of familiarity with the terms, Medical Terminology, is one topic that a student might need to review more than once.”

“We find that for many second-degree students, nursing is more difficult than they anticipated,” added Marshall. “In nursing, we learn to asses situations and apply knowledge differently than people do in many other fields. It can take some time to develop that ability and the PIP and this new On-Line Supplement will really prepare our students for that difference. I believe this new resource will help our students be even more successful and, ultimately, be better prepared to be nurses and nurse leaders after they graduate.”

NCIN hosted a webinar to introduce program liaisons to the PIP Online Supplement and explain how it works.


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