Abstract Review Article:
Introduction: Registered nurses and students of the Bachelor of Nursing are improving the quality of healthcare by working together in a Learning and Innovation Network (LIN). A LIN is a powerful learning environment, where employees and students work together towards a common goal.
Methods: In the Netherlands, Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc and Inholland University of Applied Sciences have set up a LIN on the internal medicine traumatology, oncology, cardiology and urology departments. On the LIN departments, the number of students has increased significantly. Because the students are supernumerary, space and time are created to optimize the learning process of the RNs without compromising the care to be provided. Within the LIN, students learn from the practical experience of RNs, which gives them tools to apply knowledge practically. On the other hand, students can contribute to the adaptation of long established practices, based on recently acquired knowledge. A bridge is built between acting according to recent scientific insights and experiences from practice. It is also important to take the patient’s wishes into account. This guarantees nursing action based on evidence based practice and best practice. Several projects aimed at increasing the quality of care have already been carried out within the LIN such as projects focused on removing a catheter and bandaging.
Conclusion: The LIN is taking more and more shape within the VUmc. There is a broad support base between educational and healthcare institutions, both on management and executive level. In order to make the LIN activities even more attuned to the authentic development needs of the department, interprofessional learning and working should be encouraged by also enthusing other care disciplines and researchers to participate in the LIN. An EBP working group consisting of permanent team members can contribute to the safeguarding of the outcomes of the LIN projects.