Conestoga news

May 17, 2021 7:52 AM

School of Health & Life Sciences achieves full BPSO designation

A virtual showcase held March 31 to celebrate the School of Health & Life Sciences’ three-year pre-designation journey to become a Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) Best Practice Spotlight Organization (BPSO) welcomed members of the Conestoga community as well as community partners.

Conestoga is one of the first colleges in Canada to meet the requirements of the BPSO program -- a partnership between the RNAO and health care organizations and/or academic settings that commit to implementing multiple best practice guidelines throughout their organization, and sustaining an evidence-based nursing practice culture.

“It is my great pleasure to bring greetings and heartfelt congratulations to all of you on behalf of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario,” said Susan McNeill, associate director, Guideline Implementation and Knowledge Transfer at RNAO. “For the last three years, Conestoga has been on a journey. You’ve been working to figure out the most suitable way for your college, and the most sustainable way, to embed five best practice guidelines into eight different programs and find meaningful ways that will help students truly value evidence and to use evidence to inform their daily practice.”

RNAO, the professional association representing more than 40,000 registered nurses, nurse practitioners and nursing students in Ontario, launched the Best Practice Guideline (BPG) program in 1999 to provide the best evidence for nursing care across a range of health care settings. The program has overseen development of 50 guidelines to date that are implemented in provincial, national and international health care settings.

“Beyond Conestoga, the designation means that you are part of a global social movement. You, along with hundreds of other organizations in Ontario and around the world, have a shared vision about developing evidence-based practice cultures,” added McNeill. “You are in a position to champion best practices and model optimal care - you’re change agents.”

As part of Conestoga’s three-year pre-designation journey, five seniors-focused RNAO BPGs were integrated into eight interdisciplinary programs, and more than 50 per cent of full-time college nursing faculty and five staff from Health Sciences programs were trained as best practice champions. Several RNAO advanced clinical practice fellowships were also completed by Conestoga faculty. 

The college hosted a best practice champion workshop for Conestoga students, employees and community partners, and delivered eight presentations at national academic conferences on the college’s BPSO designation journey.

Going forward, BPSO designates focus on sustainability and commit to continuing the implementation, evaluation, spread and expansion of best practice guidelines in their organization and to serve as a mentor to new BPSO pre-designates. 

During the showcase, Dr. Veronique Boscart, executive dean, School of Health & Life Sciences, thanked Conestoga’s senior leadership, chairs, faculty and staff as well as community partners for their enthusiasm and commitment to starting the college’s BPSO journey. 

“Thank you to everyone for contributing to this. I am very proud to say that we have achieved designation,” said Boscart. “The work is not done, but this is a moment to pause and celebrate what we have achieved so far.”

Conestoga’s School of Health & Life Sciences is a leader in innovative education, workforce development and applied research to meet community needs. It offers a broad range of programming, from pre-health through to certificates, diplomas, graduate certificates and degrees in health-related fields.