Although other programs and systems have used components of the OCNE model (e.g., competency-based education, case-based instruction, articulation between associate degree and baccalaureate programs), never has one explicitly combined best practices in curriculum and instruction, state-of-the-art educational technology, competencies based on assessment of emerging health care needs of a population, mechanisms to share faculty expertise in a consortium arrangement; co-admission of students to associate and baccalaureate degree programs, and collaborative efforts to create new clinical education approaches, all in an effort to better prepare graduates and to accommodate an increased number of students.
This comprehensive and collaborative effort is unprecedented in the United States and is increasingly viewed by health care and nursing education leaders as a model that could be adapted to achieve similar goals across the country. The discoveries happening in OCNE have substantial policy implications – for development of nursing education systems, design of curricula, use of simulation as a component of clinical education, and delivery of classroom and clinical education.
Over 30 states and five foreign countries have sought consultation to learn how OCNE partnerships, curriculum, and clinical and pedagogy reform were established and maintained. OCNE has inspired nursing faculty to engage in education redesign in order to align nursing education more closely with emerging health care needs and health care system changes, and to increase educational capacity for baccalaureate education. Through conferences, publications, and webinars, faculty in 12 states have actively deliberated whether to develop programs like OCNE. So far, 10 states have seen the greatest effects: components of the OCNE program have been adopted in Massachusetts, Texas, New York, New York, and rural North Carolina, while statewide or regional consortia have been developed in California and Hawaii and continued active planning is occurring in New Mexico, Wyoming, Minnesota, and Maine.
Ten years after OCNE's initial vision, our focus remains the same: educating nurses with the competencies necessary to provide high quality, compassionate health care to all.