As I sit in my room in Delft after the most amazing conference experience a newcomer to open education could imagine, I am left with a lasting hope for the possibilities open education can have for nursing education in Ontario.

Ever since I became aware of open education through eCampusOntario’s Extend institute I have been looking for other nurses who share the passion for openness that I discovered. It has been difficult for me to find open educational resources specific to the needs of my students. Challenges faced by nurse educators in the literature include concerns over the workload associated with finding them and questions about their quality (Elf, Ossiannilsson, Neljeso, & Jansson, 2015). This finding is reflective of my own experience and echoes the concerns of various presenters at the conference, some of which specifically named nursing as a discipline with a paucity of open resources.

Through the OE Global conference, I have not only been connected with other open nurse educators, I have discovered what is possible when nurses break down institutional barriers and work openly together. Every nursing program in Ontario needs to prepare students to meet the same standards of practice and write the same licensing exam. These commonalities made it possible for nurse educators in the Netherlands to begin producing an amazing process for sharing resources. In the Netherlands, with financial support from their government, nurse educators have developed a process for collaboration, sharing teaching materials and improving the overall quality of education delivered to their students (Koopman, Cabo, & Versantvoort, 2018).

I am looking forward to when their peer review process is finalized and translated into English so Nurses in Onratio can model this approach. Dorine and her colleagues are an inspiration to open nurse educators like me who dream of a day that we are able to truly break down institutional barriers in Ontario and empower each other to deliver the best quality of education we can to our students.

Final note: 

If you missed the conference, please check out the keynote presentations at this link 

I also invite you to join the conversation with me on Twitter, subscribe to this blog (see the bottom left of this page), and connect with me in person or over the Internet and find out more about the possibilities embedded in openness.


Laura Killam is an experienced nursing educator from Northern Ontario with a keen interest in improving student learning through innovation. For more information please visit

1 Comment

Skid · April 28, 2018 at 5:06 am

Thanks for this post. I really admire how dedicated you are to collaborating with other nurse educators, both in Ontario and around the world.

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