King Saud General Hospital’s Nursing Educational Program Assessment Report


Ongoing education is of supreme importance to healthcare professionals, including nurses, and it is particularly effective if it corresponds to their learning needs (Dyson, Hedgecock, Tomkins, & Cooke, 2009). The present portfolio contains the materials that are relevant to an educational program that satisfies the specific needs of the Emergency Unit nurses from the King Saud General Hospital in Alqassem City which were determined through a needs assessment. The needs include the topics of Drug Calculation, IV Therapy Pump, and Medication Errors.

The aims of the program consist of refreshing and extending the nurses’ knowledge and skills in the fields of the three chosen topics and improving their confidence with relation to their abilities in the areas. Concerning the objectives, by the end of the program, the nurses will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an extensive knowledge of the theory that is related to the three topics.
    • Demonstrate the knowledge of the mathematical and practical aspects of drug calculation.
    • Recount the principles of safe practice in IV therapy pump use.
    • Name the types of medication errors and connect the knowledge to their personal experience.
    • Name the strategies that are aimed at the reduction of the incidence of medication errors.
  • Be able to relate the theory to their personal practice and demonstrate expert skills in the application of the theory.
    • Demonstrate expert calculation skills.
    • Expertly apply IV therapy pump.
  • Report increased understanding or knowledge of the topics as well as improved confidence with respect to their abilities in the area.

The present portfolio contains a discussion of the program (including a synopsis as well as an exemplary in-depth content, costs and resources description of one session, the aims and objectives of all the sessions, the evaluation strategy for the sessions and the program as well as the evaluation tool) and a reflection on the process of the program development. Also, the discussion mentions the theoretical perspectives on teaching that have affected the program as well as the results of the previously conducted needs assessment that specifies the learning preferences of the nurses. Finally, a conclusion is included in the portfolio to summarize the discussion and the reflection and condense the lessons learned that are documented in the portfolio.


Synopsis of the Program

The present education program is designed specifically to fit the educational needs of the Emergency Unit nurses who work at the King Saud General Hospital in Alqassem City. The Unit has 22 nurses aged 24-46 years with their experience ranging from two to nine years of working at an emergency department (including those who have had some experience outside of the King Saud General Hospital). As a result of the needs assessment, it was determined that the program will include three blocks of sessions. The Drug Calculation is the topic that is perceived as the most essential one, and it will be studied for 12-15 hours.

The block will involve the theory that is essential for a proper review of the topic (Fleming, Brady, & Malone, 2014; Wright, 2009), but it will focus on practice that is typically lacking among nurses (Sneck, Saarnio, Isola, & Boigu, 2016). The IV Therapy Pump block will take up 6-7 hours, and it will include theory, videos, and simulations with an emphasis on the safety as the crucial component of a successful IV therapy (Dougherty, Kayley, & Bravery, 2012). Finally, the Medication Errors block will be limited to 4-5 hours, and it will be meant to refresh and expand the nurses’ knowledge on the types of errors and the strategies that are aimed at preventing them: medication errors are a preventable problem, but it persists in healthcare worldwide (Leufer & Cleary-Holdforth, 2013; Seltzer & Mulholland, 2015).

Aims and Objectives for the Sessions

Drug calculation sessions will be aimed at the improvement of the nurses’ skills in the area through the review of the relevant theory and extensive practice of related problem-solving. The objectives that are set for all the sessions on the topic will ensure that upon completing the block, the nurses will be able to:

  • Demonstrate theoretical knowledge, including that on estimations, conversion, and infusion flow rates.
  • Demonstrate and report improved skills in drug calculation.
  • Demonstrate and report improved confidence in drug calculation.

IV therapy pump sessions are aimed at improving the nurses’ IV therapy pump use skills through the review of the theory on the topic as well as the participation in simulations as a form of practice. The objectives of this block of sessions include the following statements. Upon completing the sessions, the nurses will be able to:

  • Recount the principles of safe IV pump use.
  • Recount the challenges and possible complications as well as the strategies of their management.
  • Demonstrate and report improved skills in IV pump use.
  • Demonstrate and report improved confidence in IV pump use.

Medication errors sessions are aimed at raising the nurses’ awareness on the topic and equipping them with the means of avoiding medication errors in their personal practice. The following objectives are introduced for this block of sessions. Upon completing the sessions, the nurses will be able to:

  • Demonstrate understanding and the ability to classify and provide examples to various types of medication errors. Exhibit the ability to align the knowledge with personal experience.
  • Demonstrate the knowledge of safety principles and strategies to reduce the incidence of medication errors.
  • Demonstrate and report improved confidence in one’s ability to reduce the incidence of medication errors.

Since all the topics are aimed at the satisfaction of perceived learning needs, the improvement of the nurses’ estimation of their abilities and knowledge and their confidence is of supreme importance.

The recommended source is the text that provides an overview of all the three topics and contains convenient drug calculation problems.

  • Seltzer, M. & Mulholland, J. (2015). Drug calculations. St. Louis, Mo.: Elsevier/Saunders.

The suggested sources include several useful articles on the three topics.

Suggested sources also include the following website with drug calculation problems that can be used for personal training:

Session Plan for One Session: The Introduction to Drug Calculation


The detailed, in-depth content of the session “The Introduction to Drug Calculation” is presented in Table 1. The results of the needs assessments indicate that 100% of the nurses are interested in using PowerPoint presentations for learning, and 66% of them requested group discussions. Thus, the present session is designed to suit these needs. In particular, the lecture will be conducted with the help of the PowerPoint presentation, and the discussions will be used to ensure the cooperation between the nurses and establish the significance of the topic. The problem-solving exercise will be used to provide examples and develop discussions.

The emphasis on the discussion and interaction between the peers is defined by the use of the conversational framework of learning in the process of the program development. The framework is aimed at encouraging interaction between all the participants and improving the collaboration and cooperation in the process of developing theoretical and applicable knowledge (Atif, 2013, p. 419). Apart from that, the framework includes the emphasis on the practical and reflective activities (Knewstubb, 2014; Selesho, 2012), and the presented session involves both (see Table 1).

Table 1
Session Plan: In-Depth Content of The Introduction to Drug Calculation session.
TimeContentTeaching strategiesResources
40 minutes1. The presentation of the topic.Invitation to discuss the significance of drug calculation for nursing practice.Facts:Most significant part of nurses’ qualification, which has been stated by numerous researchers, for example, Saleem, Tabassum, and Asif (2014), Sneck et al. (2016), and Wright (2013).Nurses typically experience difficulties in mastering this skill (Fleming et al., 2014).Nurses often lack practice in the area (Sneck et al., 2016).Mentioning the needs assessment; a conclusion about the need to study the topic.2. The content of the sessions devoted to the topic:The presentation of the plan of the sessions.Basic mathematics skills: essential for drug calculation (Saleem et al., 2014).Helpful resources (Wright, 2009).Extensive practice: the most significant part (Sneck et al., 2016).Evaluation of the results; reflection.Discussion of the plan (possibility of making changes).Lecture, discussionComputer, projector, PowerPoint presentation
5 minutesIndividual exercise: the development of a problem.Individual work: problem developmentPaper, pens
10 minutesVolunteers are invited to present their problems; other volunteers are to solve the problems. The problems and solutions are then discussed.Problem-solving, discussionWhiteboard, markers
5 minutesThe lesson is finished with a summary of the lesson; the suggested sources are presented to the nurses.LectureComputer, projector, PowerPoint presentation

Resource requirements and costs

The resources that are required for the session include:

  • computer,
  • projector,
  • whiteboard,
  • markers,
  • paper,
  • pens.

The nurses will be expected to bring paper and pens so that they can write down any important information, but the materials can also be obtained at the hospital. The nurses will be allowed to substitute the paper by their tablets or computers if they find it more convenient. The remaining resources can be obtained at the hospital. Therefore, there are no direct costs.

Other sessions will involve printing costs, which cannot be avoided in the case of tests. In other cases, the opportunity to avoid the costs by using technology can be used if the nurses are comfortable with employing their tablets and computers.

Evaluation Strategy and Tools

The nurses’ participation in class activities will be evaluated during every session. The sessions that conclude a block will involve completing tests that will provide a score from 0 to 100 (see Table 2). The final evaluation will include a similar final test, which will contribute 20% to the credit that will also involve the average result of the session tests (40%), and participation in class activities (40%). Only one attempt at completing a test can be made.

Table 2
Evaluation Strategy.
ScoreTest ScoreLesson ParticipationShortened Rubric for Lesson Participation
A85-100AParticipates actively and often; demonstrates deep understanding; offers examples from personal experience.
B65-84BParticipates often; occasionally demonstrates the understanding of the topics and includes examples from practice.
C40-64CParticipates rarely and reluctantly OR demonstrates the lack of understanding and does not include practice-related examples.
D15-39DParticipates rarely and reluctantly, demonstrates the lack of topic understanding, fails to connect theory to practice.
E0-14EDoes not participate.

Missing a class will naturally result in penalties due to the 0 score for the class activities and the test if it is included in the plan, but the penalty will not be enacted if the nurse was absent as a result of a situation that could not be controlled. In this case, the nurse will be provided with the session materials and will be required to complete the missed sessions’ test. The participation of the missed session will not be evaluated, and the participation average will be calculated for the number of sessions that have a grade.

The present assessment system was developed to correspond to the best practices in curriculum development: it is “programmatic” and has multiple “snapshots” of the performance of the nurses that are made several times to improve the program-scale credibility of the strategy and its capability of assessing the progress and having an educational impact of its own (Prideaux, 2007).

Since the present program is also intended for the professional development of the educator, an evaluation of the program is also in order. This evaluation will be carried out once with the help of the questionnaire that is included in Appendix A. The nurses will be provided with an electronic or paper questionnaire (medium of their choice). It is preferable that the questionnaires are anonymous to encourage the nurses to criticize the program; however, if a nurse expresses the wish to provide the name (possibly, for future dialogue), it is acceptable. Questionnaires of both media will be anonymized by submitting them in piles; if nurses express the wish to use electronic versions, they will be offered to choose a person who will gather the results and send them to the teacher in bulk.

Reflection on the Experience

There are different reflection models that can be used to enhance the effectiveness of the process, and one of the most widely used approaches (in particular, in the field of healthcare) is that by Gibbs (Paterson & Chapman, 2013, p. 138). The cycle includes six stages that include reflection as well as action planning, and the following piece of reflective writing’ is built with the help of Gibbs’ (1988) framework.


The event of interest is the development of an educational program for the Emergency Unit nurses. It involved the conduction of the learning needs assessment, the exploration of theory, and the development itself.


I have been mildly existed throughout the process of the programs’ development due to it being challenging but interesting and significant for my progress as an educator. Also, I was glad to receive support from some of my colleagues who also considered the task to be important. Finally, I am very satisfied with the use of conversational framework for the program, and I find that it corresponds to my views as an educator.


The learning needs assessment went remarkably well with a high response rate. The challenges (for instance, the geographical separation from the nurses) were successfully resolved. The process was not easy, but there were people who helped and supported me, especially the Department of Training and Education and some of my colleagues. The following development of the program was challenging, which convinced me of the need to create a program evaluation tool to ensure the possibility of continuous improvement. I will discover if it was successful or not after I analyze the feedback. Concerning the theoretical part, I think that I have managed to ground my practice in appropriate theory, which implies that this part of the study was successful.


The program is not implemented yet, but it has already provided me with several insights in the process. First of all, I have realized the importance of needs assessment since its results did not correspond to my expectations; the program is specifically fitted to the nurses’ perceived expectations, and they are more applicable than my view of their needs (Dyson et al., 2009). Secondly, I have discussed the conversational framework, which is a tool that is both aligned with my views of education and appears to be applicable to my practice due to the specifics of the target audience, especially their occupation as nurses which requires conversational framework-related skills (Duane & Satre, 2014). Thirdly, I have expanded my experience of program development, but I will be able to assess my progress better after I receive the feedback from the nurses.

Conclusion. Action plan

It can be concluded that the experience of developing the program was largely positive with insignificant issues being resolved on the spot. I will proceed to implement the program to receive the feedback on it and extract additional lessons from the experience. For the time being, I think that the program has contributed to my understanding of the education process, and I am willing to apply the knowledge in the future.


The present paper offers a portfolio of documents that are related to the education program development for the Emergency Unit nurses who work at King Saud General Hospital in Alqassem City. The program is built upon a previously conducted learning needs assessment and the conversational framework approach; its development also involved the study of the best practices in progress assessment and some additional research into the topics that comprise it. The topics that have been defined during the needs assessment include Drug Calculation, IV Therapy Pump, and Medication Errors, and the program is aimed at refreshing and expanding the nurses’ knowledge and skills in the areas as well as enhancing their confidence concerning their abilities. The latter outcome is defined by the fact that the topics reflect the nurses’ perceived needs, which implies that they are not satisfied with their current level of knowledge and skills. The reflection on the process demonstrates that program development is a challenging but rewarding activity that has improved my experience and knowledge and provided insights into the significance of learning needs assessments. As for the action plan, I still need to implement the program, and the feedback that I hope to receive will provide additional lessons on the process.


Atif, Y. (2013). Conversational learning integration in technology enhanced classrooms. Computers In Human Behavior29(2), 416-423. Web.

Dougherty, L., Kayley, J., & Bravery, K. (2012). IV therapy: get it right no matter what. British Journal of Nursing21(Sup14), S3-S3. Web.

Duane, B. & Satre, M. (2014). Utilizing constructivism learning theory in collaborative testing as a creative strategy to promote essential nursing skills. Nurse Education Today,34(1), 31-34. Web.

Dyson, L., Hedgecock, B., Tomkins, S., & Cooke, G. (2009). Learning needs assessment for registered nurses in two large acute care hospitals in Urban New Zealand. Nurse Education Today29(8), 821-828. Web.

Fleming, S., Brady, A., & Malone, A. (2014). An evaluation of the drug calculation skills of registered nurses. Nurse Education in Practice, 14(1), 55-61. Web.

Gibbs, G. (1988). Learning by Doing: A Guide to Teaching and Learning Methods. Oxford, UK: Oxford Further Education Unit.

Knewstubb, B. (2014). The learning–teaching nexus: modelling the learning–teaching relationship in higher education. Studies In Higher Education41(3), 525-540. Web.

Leufer, T., & Cleary-Holdforth, J. (2013). Let’s do no harm: Medication errors in nursing: Part 1. Nurse Education in Practice, 13(3), 213-6. Web.

Paterson, C. & Chapman, J. (2013). Enhancing skills of critical reflection to evidence learning in professional practice. Physical Therapy In Sport14(3), 133-138. Web.

Prideaux, D. (2007). Curriculum development in medical education: From acronyms to dynamism. Teaching And Teacher Education23(3), 294-302. Web.

Saleem, Z., Tabassum, N., & Asif, N. (2014). Case Based Scenarios: Evidence Based Teaching Learning Strategy in Nursing Education Pharmacology Course. International Journal Of Nursing1(2), 147-154. Web.

Selesho, M. (2012). Exploration of the learning model as a strategy in enhancing the quality of academic programme. African Journal Of Business Management6(46), 11558-11564. Web.

Seltzer, M. & Mulholland, J. (2015). Drug calculations. St. Louis, Mo.: Elsevier/Saunders.

Sneck, S., Saarnio, R., Isola, A., & Boigu, R. (2016). Medication competency of nurses according to theoretical and drug calculation online exams: A descriptive correlational study. Nurse Education Today36, 195-201. Web.

Wright, K. (2009). Resources to help solve drug calculation problems. British Journal Of Nursing18(14), 878-883. Web.

Wright, K. (2013). How do nurses solve drug calculation problems? Nurse Education Today33(5), 450-457. Web.

Appendix A


Please provide the feedback on the program that you have just finished to help it to improve. Thank you for your time!

Part One: Introduction

The questionnaire is anonymous, but please feel free to provide your name if you want to: __________________

  1. Your nursing education: __________________
  2. Years of your experience as a nurse: ______; as an Emergency Unit nurse: ______.

Part Two: Feedback

Please assess the successfulness of the sessions on the three topics of the program. Please use the scale of 10 points where 0 means “not successful” and 10 means “extremely successful.”

Successfulness of the sessions
Drug CalculationIV Therapy PumpMedication Errors
Course Content
Educator’s Performance
Tests and assessments

Please answer the questions below:

  1. What was great about the program?
  2. What are the flaws of the program?
  3. What would you rather change about the program?

Thank you!

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