Imagine how frustrating it would be to have an in-person course all designed and ready to go and then you’re hit by a global pandemic that restricts such activities. A team of five M Health Fairview nursing professionals took that hit in stride when they had to put a Stroke Certified Registered Nurse (SCRN®) Review on hold.

“We needed to get to the point where we weren’t primarily  focused on COVID-related activities to pick this up again,” said team member Lisa Marien, MSN, RN, PHN, Program Coordinator: Clinical Development Specialist, who worked on the course with Lisa Sansgaard, BAN, RN, SCRN and Megan Halverson, BSN, RN Clinical Education Specialists (CES) in Neuroscience, Jeanne Thompson, BAN, RN, CCRN-CMC-CSC, CEN, SCRN a Critical Care CES, and Cissy Bryant, CNRN, SCRN, ICU Lead Preceptor and Staff RN.

SCRN Course Creators

From left: Lisa Marien, Lisa Sansgaard, Jeanne Thompson, and Cissy Bryant. Not pictured: Megan Halvorson

According to the American Board of Neuroscience Nursing, the Stroke Certified Registered Nurse credential, “recognizes the attainment and demonstration of a unique body of knowledge necessary for the practice of stroke nursing.” The M Health Fairview session’s purpose is to prepare nurses to take the SCRN exam.

When it became apparent that the course would have to be given online, the team built their knowledge about how to work in virtual settings. They designed the course so that participants will be engaged in different ways. “We increased interactivity by using the chat feature for questions and comments and by going through real-world case studies,” said Marien. “We’re asking them to join in, not just sit in front of a screen.”

The virtual course is already sold out. “The response has been amazing,” Marien said. Interested nurses are coming from a variety of sites around the M Health Fairview system, including neuroscience units, emergency departments, and rehabilitation units. Those who finish the course will earn 11 American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) contact hours. Nurses are required to earn 24 contact hours every 2 years for re-licensure and additional contact hours for certification.

Having to provide the course online because of the pandemic has a silver lining – Marien believes it enabled more nurses from throughout the system to attend. “We don’t have place or space boundaries in this new reality,” she said.

The team hopes that 50 percent of the attendees go on to take the SCRN exam. “We’re trying to empower nurses across the M Health Fairview system to pursue this type of certification,” said Marien. “We want to engage and support them in their quest for advanced professional development.”