Nursing students access on-line teaching sheets

Use could improve students' patient education skills

This semester the University of California at San Francisco School of Nursing is using Krames On-Demand in the classroom.

The school received this electronic print-on-demand patient education system through a program the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) initiated three years ago called "Technology for Nursing Schools."

This program offers corporations the opportunity to partner with AACN in making contributions that help student nurses work with current patient care technology before they begin their clinical experience.

The word "technology" is used to describe all the things that nurses eventually use in patient care. It includes everything from print information to actual technologic devices, explains Ramon Lavandero, RN, MA, FAAN, director of development and strategic alliances for AACN based in Aliso Viejo, CA.

Nursing school skills labs have a limited budget, therefore contributions from businesses can be very beneficial. However, when a product is offered a representative from AACN approaches the school to see whether it is willing to accept the donation. There could be any number of policy reasons that prevent the school from accepting it or the donation may not be appropriate for the school, explains Lavandero.

The Krames On-Demand system was appropriate for the University of California at San Francisco, which offers a master's degree or a PhD in nursing. "Our advanced practice nurses can use this system to learn better ways of teaching patients and families," says Dorrie Fontaine, RN, DNSc, FAAN, the associate dean for academic programs at UCSF School of Nursing.

The Krames system provides Internet-based content that can be customized for patients and printed as needed. Within the system are 2,200 topics, in both English and Spanish, created in conjunction with practicing specialists to provide accurate, up-to-date information on everything from conditions and procedures to self-care and preventive care.

"The expectation is that teaching sheets will become part of the routine for education. That is the goal. What that starts is something in nursing that is so crucial. Nurses are becoming more and more knowledge workers, bringing knowledge to patients, families, and health team members. They need to be able to access that knowledge easily and it needs to be current, accurate, and relevant to what they are doing," says Lavandero.

He says the assumption is that if a nursing student learns by using a particular product then whether a health care company at which they work uses the same product or another vendor's version they will be familiar with it and use it.

Often there are challenges that must be overcome. At UCSF School of Nursing, staff needed to make sure Krames On-Demand could be installed on its server/network in the computer lab so students could have access to learning the program.

Also they had to find a core course that specialty advanced practice nursing students all took and then develop an assignment to use the program, says Fontaine.

"I worked with our staff and faculty to install the program on 30 computers in the computer lab and secured a faculty advocate to use the program in a pharmacology course for the adult nurse practitioners," says Fontaine.

Currently it is being tested in the pharmacology course but Fontaine anticipates the students will be enthusiastic about the content and the opportunities it offers to obtain information for patients.

"After we use it in one group of nurse practitioner students, we plan to offer it to more classes and specialties," says Fontaine.


For more information about the AACN Technology for Nursing Schools program or the use of Krames On-Demand in the classroom, contact:

  • Dorrie Fontaine, RN, DNSc, FAAN, associate dean for academic programs, UCSF School of Nursing, 2 Koret Way, Room 319G, Box 0604, San Francisco, CA 94143-0604. Phone: (415) 476-9710. E-mail:
  • Ramon Lavandero, RN, MA, MSN, FAAN, director, development and strategic alliances, American Association of Critical Care Nurses, 101 Columbia, Aliso Viejo, CA, 92656. Phone: (949) 362-2000, ext. 505. E-mail: