Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence, Khan Academy, AACN Partner on New Initiative to Provide Free Learning Resources for the Global Classroom

Collaboration will produce “elite squadron” of content providers who will develop online video tutorials and exercises designed to help new nurses prepare for licensing exam. 

NEW YORK, October 1, 2013 – The Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence (JCNE), Khan Academy and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) today announced a partnership to create free, peer-developed, and expert-reviewed online resources to help nurses prepare for professional practice and sit for selected portions of the National Council Licensure Examination® (NCLEX-RN®).

Building on a growing body of inter-professional tools housed on Khan Academy’s website, this new model for professional health education will provide content-rich resources to providers across disciplines around the globe.

The partner institutions will sponsor a competition for nursing students and other healthcare professionals to create video tutorials and exercises for specific NCLEX-RN content areas, including physiology, pathophysiology, and management of health conditions. Selected winners will receive an all-expenses-paid weeklong training program at Khan Academy in Mountain View, CA. Trainees will go on to produce a collection of tutorials and other tools that will be accessible to students in nursing or related fields worldwide – especially helpful for those who cannot afford test preparation courses or who are enrolled at institutions with limited resources.

“This was a meeting of the minds, as each of our individual missions coincides with this innovative approach to education. We want to see the cadre of highly-qualified nurses grow, and we can achieve that collective goal more quickly through online learning,” said Darlene Curley, Executive Director of the Jonas Center, a philanthropic organization dedicated to building the effectiveness of America’s professional nurses, especially through scholarship.

Last year, approximately 195,000 new nursing school graduates sat for the NCLEX-RN [i], which is designed to test the knowledge, skills, and abilities essential for safe and effective nursing practice at the entry level. All nurses must pass the exam to practice as a Registered Nurse (RN) in the U.S – more than 1.2 million of whom will be needed to fill the projected number of U.S. job openings through 2020.[ii] Nurses coming from overseas to practice in the U.S. must also pass the exam.

“Healthcare education has become a core area for Khan Academy, driven by consumer demand – especially from nurses,” said Rishi Desai, MD, MPH, Program Lead – Medical Partnerships at Khan Academy, a non-profit organization dedicated to changing education by providing free resources. “With the Jonas Center’s and AACN’s support, together we are developing an elite squadron of content creators for high-level, multidisciplinary training. Though aimed at nurses preparing to enter the workforce, the content will be relevant to all health professionals and even patients.”

Tutorial topics, including health promotion and maintenance, risk reduction, care management, and pharmacological therapies, will be drawn from a range of focus areas included on the NCLEX-RN as well as nursing manuals and other teaching sources. Content will be added continuously as new materials are created. Ultimately, the goal of the partnership is to create a scalable bank of information with opportunities for deep learning engagement.

“This new model is a cutting-edge departure from traditional approaches used to prepare nurses to fully assume and flourish in the RN role,” added Jane Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN, President of AACN, which will ensure the content is relevant to the exam. “The collaborating organizations are committed to providing technology-enhanced teaching tools that will serve as a free supplement for those preparing for the NCLEX-RN and provide opportunities for ongoing learning and refreshment for nurses and other healthcare providers.”

The initiative builds on a similar collaboration launched last year among Khan Academy, the Association of American Medical Colleges and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focused on content for the revised Medical College Admission Test® (MCAT®). The materials created via the new collaboration will complement the MCAT resources, offering more clinically focused information than the academic science thrust of the MCAT content. Taken together, they offer future and current health professionals with a comprehensive tool for ongoing learning, particularly important in the fast-paced and evolving world of healthcare.

Tutorial competition submissions will be accepted online via the Khan Academy website beginning in November; the deadline for submissions will be in January 17, 2014. Full contest rules, submission guidelines and criteria for entry will be announced by Khan on/around November 4th. The first tutorials are expected to be available in the spring of 2014 through Khan Academy’s online learning library. Funding to support the competition and content development has been provided by the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence.


About the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence

In 2006, Barbara and Donald Jonas established the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence, dedicated to improving healthcare by advancing nursing scholarship, leadership and innovation. Its two main programs are the Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program, which aims to address the dire shortage of nursing faculty by preparing nurses with doctoral degrees to step into this critical role, and the Jonas Veterans Healthcare Program, which seeks to improve the health of veterans by supporting doctoral-level nursing candidates committed to advancing veterans healthcare. These programs currently support more than 250 doctoral scholars nationwide.


About Khan Academy

Khan Academy is a 501(c)3 non-profit with a mission of providing a free world-class education for anyone, anywhere. Khan Academy provides free online educational materials (e.g., practice exercises, instructional videos, dashboard analytics, teacher tools) that support personalized education for users of all ages in a scalable way. In the last two years, the organization has delivered over 300 million lessons and 1.3 billion exercise problems. Currently it has 6 million users per month and over 3 million exercise problems completed each day. Khan Academy covers subjects from basic Math to college level Biology and Art History.


About the American Association of Colleges of Nursing

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for university and four-year college education programs in nursing. Representing more than 740 member schools of nursing at public and private institutions nationwide, AACN’s educational, research, governmental advocacy, data collection, publications, and other programs work to establish quality standards for bachelor’s- and graduate-degree nursing education, assist deans and directors to implement those standards, influence the nursing profession to improve health care, and promote public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, research, and practice.