Article Content

Managers want to provide their nurses with the best training, but scheduling, budgets, and location can impose limits on what an agency can offer. The Visiting Nurse Associations of America (VNAA) is excited to partner with the Homecare Information Network (HCIN) to remove those logistic obstacles. Now home care agencies can access a growing library of seminars on chronic conditions via streaming video, complete with testing, continuing education units, and the opportunity to ask national experts questions. These seminars can be accessed by an unlimited number of staff, whenever and wherever it is convenient. Moreover, for VNAA members, there is no cost.


Much of the content in the VNAA seminars will come from our Chronic Conditions Clearinghouse (, a Web site created to gather best practices in home care nursing for chronic illness and disease. The site provides vast resources on diabetes and heart failure and will be adding a section on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).


The first seminar is entitled "Identifying and Managing Heart Failure Patients at Risk for Readmission: Strategies for Change." This 2-part seminar will be presented by Jessica Shank-Coviello, MSN, APRN, associate professor at Yale University. Because heart failure is the leading cause of hospital admission for older adults, we asked Professor Shank-Coviello to create a program that gives nurses state-of-the-science information about heart failure in a format tailored to the needs of home care nurses.


Visit the HCIN site ( to get a feel for what the experience is like for students. You will find that HCIN has utilized the full spectrum of possibilities created by online technology without requiring that users have any specialized skills in that area. You will see and hear the instructor lecture using a series of notes similar to those in a PowerPoint presentation. Users can pause or review as often as they wish. A single click allows you to access printable handouts for the seminar, and there will be links to Web sites with further information. If a user has a question not answered by the presentation, there is an option to e-mail the question. It will be answered by a member of the expert panel that oversees content for the VNAA Chronic Conditions Clearinghouse. Users who receive a passing grade on a postseminar test will be awarded education contact hour credits.


Three additional seminars will soon be added on diabetes entitled "Exercise and Insulin Action"; "Overcoming Barriers to Control"; and "New Medications and Treatments for Diabetes." A seminar on pulmonary issues also is planned. Again, all seminars will be taught by nationally recognized experts. Although HCIN generally requires paid membership for access, these chronic conditions seminars will be available free to VNAA members. There will be a charge for nonmember agencies, but one fee will cover all agency clinicians.


Generally, products are designed around the convenience of consumers. That's why banks have ATMs and restaurants have drive-through windows. We are committed to developing quality educational opportunities designed around the convenience of home care nurses. VNAA welcomes feedback on these seminars as we work to tailor our offerings to your needs.