E-Connect Apple iPad initiative launches in the Department of Nursing

E-Connect, a collaborative effort between the School of Health Sciences, Information Technology, and Teaching and Learning Technologies, will put an Apple iPad in the hands of every nursing student this fall.

Aligned with the Boldly Elon Strategic Plan, the School of Health Sciences will welcome nursing students this fall. Preparation for these new cohorts included establishment of the Department of Nursing, creation of an Interprofessional Simulation Center, and collaboration with Information Technology and Teaching and Learning Technologies to build E-Connect, the first Apple iPad initiative at Elon University.

Becky Neiduski, dean of the School of Health Sciences and professor of health sciences, defined a vision for this project. “Imagine if every healthcare provider we prepare at Elon had all of their educational resources at their fingertips and could access that information within moments to show their patient an anatomical structure, airdrop an educational handout to a patient’s device or create a real-time video recording of an exercise program,” Neiduski said. “Education is one of the most important things we provide as healthcare providers, and the more tools our students have, the better prepared they will be to optimize patient care and outcomes.”

Through the E-Connect initiative, faculty and staff in the Department of Nursing and Interprofessional Simulation Center have worked closely with colleagues in Information Technology and Teaching and Learning Technologies to build iPad resources, engage in professional development and plan strategic ways to use the iPad to create innovative pedagogies and maximize engaged learning. Deployment events, including immersive experiences during orientation, have been planned to help students build competency and fully access the multitude of resources the iPad offers.

Tiffany Morris, inaugural chair of the Department of Nursing, is excited about the alignment of the E-Connect Apple iPad initiative with the Transforming Nursing Education Report. “The E-Connect initiative will transform nursing education by providing learning experiences that develop nursing students’ understanding of health equity and population health,” Morris said. “The iPads will facilitate students’ development of technical competencies, digital health tools and data analytics to support community- and population-focused nursing care. All these skills are mentioned in the Future of Nursing 2020-2030 Charting the Path to Health Equity report by The National Academy of Medicine and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.”

Aswani Volety, provost and vice president for academic affairs, supports the E-Connect Apple iPad initiative and looks forward to seeing the results of the pilot with nursing students. “The iPad initiative will provide an excellent learning platform for all nursing students, where they can access learning materials and engage in simulation in one place,” Volety said. “This effort also prepares them to meet the needs of an increasingly technological world.”

Using key performance indicators, leadership in the School of Health Sciences will assess the outcomes of the project and explore expansion to the departments of Physical Therapy Education and Physician Assistant Studies.