By Ana Alexander
HOWARD LAKE, MN Though only 22 years old, recent Bethel University graduate and Howard Lake native McCall Kleve has presented a study at the National League for Nursing Education Summit in Orlando, FL.
The study Kleve worked on surrounded a clinical curricular module that takes place in nursing students’ junior year at a university, and focused on patient-centered care coordination (PCCC).
PCCC is a method of care that ensures a patient’s information and needs are shared, especially through transitions, amongst different people and sites that a patient may be in contact with over time.
Kleve was in her junior year at Bethel University when she was approached about the study. An assignment in one of her courses involved presenting her philosophy of nursing, and afterwards, Kleve’s small group leader asked if she would be interested in being a part of the study.
Over the course of her research, Kleve worked with three professors: Ann Holland, Kathleen Tilton, and Jone Tiffany.
Research for the study, titled “Student Learning Impact of a Patient-Centered Care Coordination Clinical Module,” began in summer 2015.
The group received an Edgren Scholar award from the university, which helps with project funding and supports research in collaboration with professors. After meeting to discuss the layout of the project, the group assigned roles.
“We decided that I would work on the qualitative data analysis with one of my professors, and the other two professors would work on quantitative data analysis,” Kleve said. “It was really neat because we all came together, and it was very interesting to see the overlap one kind of confirmed the other.”
Over the summer, the group met on campus, communicated through video chatting, and used Google Docs to share ideas and communicate about the study.
“It was super neat, because although we all had our own assignments, we were able to come together and give each other ideas and input just to give positive feedback on how we could make a more cohesive manuscript,” Kleve said.
Kleve conducted a literature search. She went through various search engines and read articles related to PCCC, and transitions of care through nursing.
“What I was really interested in was how we can be sure we’re advocating for patients in different settings, such as those who utilize home care, or people who are placed in long-term care facilities,” Kleve said.
Her research found that there were a lot of articles on the need for care coordination, but only two were actually on teaching care coordination.
“There was not a lot out there about what we were looking into,” Kleve said.
She also assisted in focus group analysis. One of Kleve’s professors conducted a focus group, which was recorded and transcribed. Then, Kleve and her professor went through the transcripts separately, and developed different codes they found emerging through the focus groups.
“We came together to reconcile the codes, which we had a lot of overlap and similarity with, which was wonderful, because it showed consistency,” Kleve said.
Then, the two came up with themes from the results of their research. They developed four themes: roles of the professional nurse, valuing the patient and family experience, knowledge and skills that nurses need for PCCC, and challenges of the learning experience.
Once the research was complete, the group formulated a manuscript, which included the results, background, and conclusion of the study, as well as the implications for future research.
The group submitted their work to present at the Nursing Education Research Conference, which took place in Washington, DC in April.
The group also submitted their work to the National League for Nursing Education Summit, which took place in Orlando, FL Sept. 22.
Kleve said the group presented their work several times within Minnesota, in addition to the two out of state conferences.
The study has given Kleve much experience in presenting she has also done a solo presentation at Bethel, in which she discussed what it is like, as a student, to be involved in research. This was the first of Kleve’s string of presentations; she said it helped her work out some of the “jitterbugs” she had.
The group was also featured in one of Bethel’s Primetime sessions, where they presented their work to those in the university’s community.
Kleve said they also had the opportunity to do a poster presentation at St. Catherine University, which was a different format of presenting for her.
“I’ve really been exposed to a lot of ways to disseminate information,” Kleve said.
The study was also accepted for publication in the Journal of Nursing Education.
“We’re really excited about that, because it’s such a mechanism for other people who are interested in the topic to be able to learn more. It’s such a blessing that this study can be used to improve the profession of nursing,” Kleve said. “It’s unbelievable to think that I have had this opportunity to work with such inspirational individuals in nursing.”
One of the most important aspects of the working on the project for Kleve was realizing how great the impact of nursing education has on the future.
“What we’re taught in school really is such a great foundation for what we’re going to be putting into practice, no matter what the setting,” Kleve said.
The module involved in the study helped students work on skills they may need in different settings, such as hospice care or home care. According to Kleve, this foundation of information and the skill-building module is beneficial for students in learning how to implement what they learn in classes to their work as nurses.
“Students verbalized that they were able to apply that to the hospital setting, as well; seeing that with this information they received in the classroom, they were able to apply to different settings and that changed the way they thought and practiced as a nurse,” Kleve said.
Through the module, students were able to recognize different roles nurses needed to take to be able to coordinate care.
“The big thing was, students identified that a nurse needs to be able to communicate, educate, and advocate for patients when coordinating care,” Kleve said.
According to Kleve, educating nurses on coordinating care is vital.
“Through education, we can prepare nurses that have these skills to improve health care and patients’ outcomes it’s something that still makes me sit back and reflect on how important it is to educate our students.”
According to Kleve, the module will continue to be improved.
“In moving forward, we were able to adapt and apply the module to be able to improve it for the next students,” Kleve said. “It’s a continual learning process of making improvements and bettering it.”
Kleve noted that meeting other individuals through the conferences she’s presented at has also been a benefit. According to Kleve, the first thing most people have asked her is when she’ll be pursuing her PhD. However, Kleve is currently working at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital in the newborn family care center.
“I’m doing a lot of mother-baby care, which I love,” Kleve said. “I just love it.”
Kleve is considering the possibility of pursuing a PhD, but is currently focusing on her new job.
“Right now, I’m loving my job in the hospital, but I am very open to what the future holds,” Kleve said.
One thing Kleve does envision for her future is continuing to work on research.
“I foresee research being something I continue to think about, no matter where I am in nursing,” Kleve said. “Research really is the mechanism for improving the profession. The biggest thing for me is that patients have positive outcomes, and that’s through implementing evidence-based practice. Even if I don’t have ‘PhD’ behind my name now, I will continue to do all that I can to improve nursing, and bring any concerns or potential for improvement to the field.”
Originally, Kleve intended to major in biochemistry and become an optometrist. She soon realized, however, that she needed to pursue something else.
“I talked with family and friends about the qualities I have that I would like to utilize, and what the best way to do that would be,” Kleve said. “Nursing is such a natural and obvious fit [for me].”
Kleve’s sister is also a nurse, which has been helpful for Kleve as she has gone through school, and the process of transitioning into professional practice.
“I want to be the type of nurse that people will feel at ease and comfortable with,” Kleve said. “In times when people are very vulnerable, you can be that person to provide comfort to both the patient and their entire family their entire support system. That was the biggest draw to nursing for me.”