The mission of the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) Continuing Education (CE) Program is to assist members of the interprofessional healthcare team in nephrology and other specialties impacted by kidney disease in their pursuit of life-long learning toward providing high quality healthcare.
The purpose of NKF's CE Program is to change competence, clinical skills, strategy, and/or performance among the healthcare team and facilitate improvement in patient outcomes through education, information and the opportunity to practice in a virtual clinical setting.
Content areas span the scope of kidney disease and include: risk factors, screening, diagnosis, chronic kidney disease (CKD) and acute kidney injury (AKI) staging, co-morbidities and complications such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, anemia, mineral and bone disorder (MBD), kidney failure, dialysis, infectious diseases as they relate to kidney disease, all aspects of kidney transplantation, and patient safety issues. Selected topics are based on identified need and gaps in interprofessional knowledge, competence and performance regarding the care and treatment of individuals affected by kidney disease. Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality (KDOQI) evidence based clinical practice guidelines and the latest peer-reviewed clinical science provide the foundation for developing much of the content associated with best practice, as do professional interests, expert opinions, literature reviews and needs assessment data from patients and caregivers that identify gaps in quality of care relative to implementation of current science.
Target audiences include physicians, residents, and fellows in nephrology, internal medicine, family medicine, cardiology, endocrinology, family practice, and other specialties; hospitalists; advanced practitioners; nurses; pharmacists; dietitians; social workers and other professionals in any setting who care for individuals who are at increased risk for, or affected by, kidney disease.
Types of Activities
Types of activities are carefully designed to provide opportunities to maximize learning and retention. Strategies to engage the learner based on adult learning principles along with critical thinking techniques to facilitate use of higher order cognitive skills (reflection on what they know, challenging assumptions, exploring/weighing alternatives) are incorporated into all activities to facilitate application of new learning and/or clinical strategies to patient care. Teaching/learning methodologies include case study presentation and discussion, virtual patient problem-solving, question and answer, multi-media teaching/learning tools, and others such as breakout sessions, small group/individual exercises, depending on format (live or enduring). To meet diverse learner preference need, activities are offered in live and enduring formats. Live activities include conferences, symposia, courses, grand rounds, hands-on workshops, audience response sessions, and debates. Enduring materials include monographs, CD-ROMs and internet-based activities such as webcasts and webinars.
Expected results include improved professional knowledge, competence and performance and/or improved patient outcomes. Results/learning outcomes are evaluated immediately at the conclusion of the activity, by post-testing and feedback from activity evaluations that ask learners about applicability of the activity content to their scope/practice; commitment to change; and how they plan to apply content to make changes in clinical practice to improve patient outcomes. A 3-6 month outcomes study collects data and measures the resulting changes in knowledge acquisition, perception, competency and behavior/clinical practices related to activity content and learning objectives as well as identify barriers to implementation. Indication by the learners of the number of patients seen per week allows for projection of potential beneficial impact of changes in practice on patients. NKF's data and other national screening and mortality data will indicate trends over time in key CKD patient outcomes metrics. These data will also help in ongoing quality improvement of the CE Program.