Nursing Skills Video Library Aids Student Learning

Video catalog becoming valuable tool for nursing students during pandemic

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States in earnest in the spring, schools around the country, including Kent State University at Ashtabula, quickly pivoted to remote instruction and online learning. The transition was effective and efficient for many traditional programs, but the virtual learning environment left a void for students in nursing and allied health skills labs typically accustomed to hands-on development and instruction.

Fortunately for those students, Nursing Skills Lab Coordinator Rhonda DiPofi, MSN, RN had already begun working on a solution.

“Even before the pandemic hit, I had found existing videos done by instructors years ago for particular skills, and I thought they could be a great learning tool, so I gradually had begun updating and redoing the videos,” DiPofi said. “I had finished only a couple before we went to remote instruction; I wanted students to be able to view skills they would need for evaluation and I knew I needed to make sure all the videos were ready and that every skill had a video associated with it.”

She was able to create an initial video library that houses video instruction for approximately 13 skills. The short videos demonstrate each nursing skill as it would be presented in-person by an instructor and are usually 2 to 3 minutes in length.

Students are tested on skills including hand hygiene, tympanic temperature, medication administration and intradermal injection. Students must be proficient in these skills before being introduced to a clinical setting.

The testing is still done in person, but implementation of COVID-19 safety procedures and guidelines has limited open access to the skills labs. DiPofi has revamped that process as well, implementing a new scheduling system with strict time limits for instruction and then lab cleaning. However, the addition of the video library gives students “refreshers” to better understand the skills they’re learning.

The creation of the videos was a first step for DiPofi. This semester she moved the library online to the Blackboard platform and created a site specifically for the nursing skills lab. The site breaks down each cohort by semester and into folders for easy access to the skills checklists and videos. This gives access to the students 24/7 from any number of devices and any location. The use of Blackboard makes for easy navigation because it’s a platform with which all students in the program are familiar.

She also made the videos accessible to the nursing programs on other regional campuses.

“The other campuses were very grateful because they weren’t sure how they were going to get the skills information out to their students during that initial time of remote learning,” DiPofi said.

One of the biggest differences DiPofi has noticed since creating the video library is the reduction in remediation required following skills testing. “For students who did not do as well and required remediation, they would have to schedule time with me in the lab, but since we uploaded the videos, I’ve noticed a decrease in remediation,” she said. “Students are doing more practice and watching the videos on their own time.”

She hopes this first step will be followed by enhanced real-time virtual learning, either with an instructor and, in some cases, the program’s high-fidelity patient simulators. 

“The students are finding it beneficial, especially those second and third semester students, with a better understanding of skills testing,” said DiPofi. “As we get further along, we’re developing the videos, adding more content and camera angles, plus moving toward real-time situations where we can have instructors acting as nurses with the simulators and having students telling them what to do, or to stop a video and ask questions about next steps.”

“This is a good first step to what we hope will be a complete virtual experience.”

Producing quality graduates and some of the region’s most respected nursing professionals for over 50 years, the Kent State Ashtabula nursing program is currently accepting applications for admission for the Spring 2021 semester – with no wait list!  Learn more today at  

POSTED: Friday, October 9, 2020 - 2:04pm
UPDATED: Friday, October 23, 2020 - 3:59pm
Kent State Ashtabula Communications and Marketing