Enhanced learning through teaching during COVID Pandemic: MSN Student Brandi Pruitt

Brandi Pruitt

Brandi Pruitt

Four MSN Education students assisted Loewenberg College of Nursing full-time faculty during the COVID-19 Pandemic, providing virtual learning support and instruction to students. 

Brandi Pruitt, who graduated in May 2020, helped Dr. Brad Harrell and Professor Kerri Wilson in the Adult Common Health Alterations course by creating an enhanced and interactive online asynchronous oncology self-study module. Designed to promote student learning, the module included a case study that was woven into an interactive PowerPoint presentation, as well as a pre-test and a post-test.

“With the transition to virtual learning, they both expressed the need for a more interactive self-study module that focused on general oncology topics for the students in the course,” Pruitt said.

Within the PowerPoint, students click on various images or words that are linked to a slide with further information or explanation on a specific topic. The interwoven case student allowed students to apply the knowledge they learned along the way.

Pruitt also helped develop a virtual intravenous push and intravenous piggyback (secondary infusion) competency checkoff for students in the Common Health Alterations Practicum. She created handouts with a pictorial supply list along with a separate handout with pictures of medication vials and labels. A brief patient scenario was included with the handouts.

She said instructors evaluated students via a one-on-one Zoom meeting. Pruitt and another graduate student, Melissa Young, created a demonstration video for the virtual competency checkoff using Loom for faculty members, showing them how to conduct the student-faculty interaction via Zoom.

“Although I hate that the pandemic occurred, the rising of the pandemic provided me with many learning opportunities that I would have otherwise not have gotten. I had many opportunities to achieve the objective of facilitating learning for students due to the COVID-19 pandemic and transition to virtual learning,” said Pruitt, who was in her last semester of graduate school, completing her nurse education practicum and working alongside a couple of seasoned nurse educators when the pandemic began.

“The semester wasn’t quite halfway over when it all started (the pandemic), which forced us to transition to complete virtual learning. I had the opportunity to see firsthand and participate in all of the obstacles, stress, tasks and demands to transition to virtual learning.”

She said that although the transition was not easy it was conquered. It required a lot of outside-of-the-box thinking and accommodation on the part of the faculty to ensure student success.

Pruitt concluded, “As an MSN student, it really opened my eyes to what all responsibilities nurse educators have and all of the numerous factors they have to take into consideration. I feel like throughout this experience, my education and career has been enhanced. As a nurse educator, if another pandemic were to occur, I feel like this experience has prepared me to tackle the tasks at hand.

Other students helping faculty during the pandemic included Alexandra Cook, Kirby Elliott and Sharon Hopper. Cook helped faculty with virtual clinical simulations and care plan grading. Elliott taught clinical group at Lambuth. Hopper taught clinical and simulation coursework for obstetric faculty on the Memphis campus.