Insights from the Field: Evidence-based Practices for Nursing Courses


Jill Buban, PhD; Online Learning Consortium

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The Online Learning Consortium (OLC) is reaching out to our global community of thought leaders, faculty, innovators and practitioners to bring you insights from the field of online, blended and digital learning.  This week, Dr. Karyn Holt, OLC Institute faculty for the Online Nursing Mastery Series, joins us to discuss her long standing role with the Online Nursing Mastery Series, as well as a variety of other topics.

OLC: What are the 3 most important things prospective participants should know about the Online Nursing Mastery Series?
It’s hard to come up with only three things, but let me try:

  • The series requires dedicated effort to read articles and participate in discussions. I’ve found that the amount of learning that takes place is indeed commensurate with the amount of time spent on the course material.
  • I will be just as present as the learners in order to facilitate that learning.
  • Learners will be able to apply concepts, techniques and tools learned to their nursing classroom. We will use participants’ courses throughout the Series.

OLC: There are many opportunities to teach online. Why did you choose OLC and which Institute course(s) do you teach for OLC?
I have been involved as a participant with the OLC for over 16 years and I feel I know this organization. With a long standing history, the Consortium values evidence-based practices, collaboration and the pursuit of improvements in the online learning arena. For that reason alone, I have continued to both teach and learn from the OLC to add to my armamentarium of tools for teaching. I have been teaching the Online Nursing Mastery Series since its inception 10 years ago. The Series has evolved over time, as have online nursing programs. Learners will definitely take away several techniques and tools they can use in their nursing online classroom immediately.

OLC: How do you define innovation?
Innovation is combining old thoughts in a blender, swirling them around and coming up with a completely different output that is more comprehensive, less costly, improved outcomes and well, different. Coming from the field of research, innovation to me is like a meta-analysis. Innovation may not be a novel idea; it may be a new way that several processes are combined to create a new, INNOVATIVE approach to a process.

OLC: OLC’s Institute offerings help professionals stay current in their prospective fields, and often times assist in the advancement of their profession. What do you believe are the top 3 ways in which professionals in our field can stay current and move ahead?
Maintaining currency in our fast paced and changing field of online education is paramount to moving finding the best ways to learn online. Subscribing to listservs that provide a smattering of “whats in the news” gives me a feel for the overview of this educational arena. It also provides me with ideas to develop and construct new meaning in my own courses. The second way is by attending conferences in order to meet and collaborate with leaders in the field.

OLC: What was the last book, journal or article you read that relates to the field?
Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise, co-authored with science writer, Robert Pool, K. Anders Ericsson smashes his career of research into a “powerful approach to learning that is fundamentally different from the way people traditionally think about acquiring a skill.”

OLC: How can people connect with you?  Please provide your Twitter handle, your webpage, your blog, etc.

About Dr. Karyn Holt

karyn holt

Dr. Holt earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from UTMB School of Nursing in 1980. After practicing for a decade as a Registered Nurse, Dr. Holt earned her Masters in Nursing from Georgetown University with a specialty in Nurse Midwifery and then continued her education earning her Doctor of Philosophy degree from Touro University, New York. Karyn Holt, RN, CNM, PhD, is an Associate Clinical Professor and Director of Online Quality at Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions in Philadelphia, PA. She has over thirty years’ experience in the maternal child arena practicing in most areas of that specialty as a nurse, and later as a nurse midwife, delivering over 2000 babies, mostly in U.S. Military hospitals. Dr. Holt is an experienced nurse midwife, author, presenter, teacher and online professor. She is also the Director of Online Quality within the Division of Nursing, College of Nursing and Health Professions. Dr. Holt works to develop, demonstrate and share strategies that will increase the quality of the design, delivery and outcomes of online, hybrid, and enhanced face-to-face classes at Drexel University. She is a widely requested speaker both nationally and internationally on this topic. Her most recent initiative has been the development of a series of courses culminating in a Service to Veterans Certificate. This certificate highlights the content necessary to care for our U.S.veterans in civilian organizations in partnership with the Veterans Administration. She received the 2013 School of Nursing Distinguished Alumnus Award for her widely recognized contributions to nursing as an innovative educator. She has authored two edited books and over thirty peer reviewed articles. Dr. Holt spends her spare time hiking in Alaska and quilting to prepare for the long winters, but enjoys every minute of it.



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