Online education service for nurses is
MONCTON, N.B. – MedSenses, the brainchild of two
nurses with extensive backgrounds in continuing education, is offering a
full slate of 12 computer-based, interactive learning modules and online
According to the company, extensive expansion is planned for the next 18
The firm’s principals are Trisha Coady, chief executive officer, and
Lynn Casey, executive vice-president. “We both have a real passion for
learning and nursing,” says Coady. “MedSenses has evolved out of that
passion and a sense that there is a real need for continuing nurse
education that’s more economical, more engaging and fully accredited.
And because it’s computer-based and supported online, we can provide
services 24/7 anywhere in the world.”
In surveying the market over the past two years, it became clear that
flexibility and the ability to track educational progress were key
factors – especially for health systems and other large scale providers.
“When a health system sees the cost efficiency and flexibility we can
provide,” says Coady, “coupled with the ability to track and manage CE
records online for factors like who needs what level of training, it
makes for a strong option.”
As nurses who have worked on the frontlines in emergency rooms and
critical care units and also spoken with countless nursing
vice-presidents and health system administrators about CE challenges,
Coady and Casey see the benefits of MedSenses from both perspectives.
“When you look at the nursing profession overall, personnel shortages
and day-to-day stress and burnout are issues,” says Casey.
“Cost-effective continuing education can help nurses become more
effective and motivated. That’s an obvious upside for individual nurses
and administrators, and it can also help with attracting and retaining
MedSenses is essentially an educational portal for healthcare providers
that includes comprehensive interactive learning both online and on CD.
“The CD-ROMs are available so that, even without a high-speed internet
connection, anyone with a computer can have easy access to the same
information with the same level of visual and interactive richness,”
This option is of special interest for rural hospitals and healthcare
providers who may not have access to high-speed internet service. “There
are tens of thousands of nurses working and living in areas where
high-speed connections are either not available or aren’t yet
affordable,” says Coady. For them, CD-ROM learning is a great option.”
The firm is based in New Brunswick, where both Casey and Coady have been
nurses for more than a decade. Since 2001, they have logged countless
hours creating and conducting educational seminars in person across
Canada and throughout the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S.
The two, working with a team of writers and designers, are providing
learning modules that integrate solid medical and technical information
with insight and stories from real-world clinical experiences, as well
as original, copyrighted illustrations and graphics. “We are going above
and beyond what is typically expected for educational materials,” Casey
says. “Making the information come alive with color, interaction and
stories is vital to making the process more appealing.”
MedSenses is also geared to handle custom content education and training
needs related to specific procedures, new technologies or other topics.
“Let’s say a health system buys into a new level of CAT scan and finds
that their nursing staff really needs additional cardiac training,” says
Coady. “We can work with the health system and technology maker to
develop a unique training module. And because our resources are doing
this kind of work every day, our turnaround on custom is very
Ultimately, they hope the payoff will be nurses with greater job
satisfaction and productivity, attributes that both nursing and hospital
administrators can readily endorse.
While the educational components form the web portal’s foundation,
MedSenses has been designed to create a nurturing and motivational
community for nurses everywhere to share stories, learn and support each
other. The site’s community forum, open to all nurses, and a continuing
advice-and-support column written by Casey, are two key components of
“Nursing can be a stressful profession in the best of times,” says Coady.
“One of our biggest goals in creating MedSenses is to offer a supportive
environment that removes intimidation from the learning process. Part of
that is using life experiences and humor to lighten the atmosphere.”
And while anyone taking the courses can learn at their chosen pace at
anytime, MedSenses participants gain access to an e-mentor or “learning
coach” who can provide feedback and answer questions at any time. And
one additional advantage online with MedSenses: The instant
gratification that comes with immediately printing a CE certificate upon
MedSenses is currently offering educational components in the areas of
neonatal, pediatrics, adult, trauma and transport. The offerings are
accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center for continuing
education credit, and appropriate for nurses new to the profession or
transitioning into a new area of care, as well as highly experienced
nurses seeking to refresh and update knowledge and skills.
“We’re very excited about the future of MedSenses and gratified with the
feedback we’re getting from healthcare professionals, both nurses and
administrative folks at every level,” says Coady.