The COVID-19 pandemic in the Spring of 2020 saw an unprecedented number of patients requiring a higher level of care than what the nursing staff was prepared for. The hospital had to quickly readjust and develop a way to train and educate nurses in the care of stepdown patients resulting from the influx of COVID-19 patients.

Project Goals/Objectives

The purpose of this initiative was to urgently and methodically train and educate medical-surgical nurses in the care of COVID-19 stepdown patients.

Methods of Implementation

• June 2020, existing medical-surgical nurses were recruited to participate in a stepdown training and education program that occurred in real-time. • Nurses bravely took on challenge of learning new skills on the fly under guidance of subject matter experts. • ICU interdisciplinary team for rounding, and management, supported the 3-patient assignment the medical surgical nurses in a non-ICU area. • Weekly zoom class with subject matter experts provided learning concepts and served as a debriefing session for learners.


As a result of this just in time training and education, more than 20 nurses successfully completed the stepdown program. The competence and confidence levels of these nurses increased and resulted in COVID-19 stepdown patients being safely managed in a non ICU-area.


The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic resulted in an influx of COVID-19 patients who required stepdown level care beyond nursing’s’ capacity. With the rapid development of a stepdown training & education program of existing medical-surgical nurses, the need for more expert care was filled. This experience lays the groundwork for planning ahead for such future events, comfortable with the knowledge that the resiliency and ingenuity of nursing will result in safe, competent and appropriate patient care.

Publication Date


Presented At:

Nursing Consortium Conference

Content Type


Author Credentials


Open Access

Available to all.