Providence St. Joseph Health Uses Blended Learning to Engage Leaders

Read the case study to learn how Providence St. Joseph Health partnered with Intrepid to help combat high turnover and tough talent attraction challenges.


Providence St. Joseph Health (PSJH) was facing high turnover and tough talent attraction challenges. More specifically, PSJH needed to train nurse managers in a way that would be easily applicable on the job—without taking them away from work for too long.

Their solution: A groundbreaking blended learning experience from Intrepid by VitalSource that leaps the healthcare training industry forward and has changed the culture of learning at PSJH.

The program targeted the approximately 930 nurse managers working within the PSJH system. The goal was to enhance the leadership skills of the nurse manager population in order to prepare these individuals for higher-level roles. PSJH aimed to promote the nurse manager role as a professional specialty, reduce the amount of turnover among caregivers and nurse managers, and improve caregiver engagement.

"I was able to clearly outline an action plan for my team with clear steps, timeline, and desired outcomes."

Pilot participant

One of the key challenges was to create a curriculum team that was a true partnership between the learning and development department and the clinical nursing leadership. At the beginning of the program, a larger advisory group was formed. This involved multiple design team meetings over the course of a year.

It was imperative that nurse managers viewed the program as both valuable and relevant to their practice. The only way to achieve this was through close collaboration with nursing leaders, whose involvement was critical to the program’s success. Additionally, the delivery had to be flexible enough to meet the needs of the busy nurse managers, who were already stretched thin.
Increase in Learner
Knowledge Acquisition
Industry Awards Received for Program Success
Increase in Comfort Level With Leadership Skills


The program was designed as a five-month leadership development learning journey. The blended learning approach focused on enhancing leadership skills such as communication, setting goals, managing teams, coaching, resolving conflicts, and leading change initiatives. It also covered self-care, financial acumen, development planning, and recognizing unconscious bias. A pilot version was delivered and feedback from pilot participants, faculty, and nursing leadership was used to inform the design of the scaled version.

The pilot consisted of a five-month learning journey that wrapped an online experience around four in-person sessions. Over the course of the experience, nurse managers had opportunities to practice and reflect on critical leadership topics like unconscious bias, goal setting, coaching, and conflict resolution. Nurse managers participated as part of a smaller cohort to connect and collaborate with colleagues in other hospitals. In addition to the peer support, nurse managers had check-ins with their managers.

The online portion of the program was delivered by the Intrepid platform, a modern learner-centric interface that allowed Providence St. Joseph Health to continue the learning in between face-to-face events as well as provide continuing support.

“[The nurse manager] demonstrates more confidence in her management style and in accountability of her actions. She has greater insight into her opportunities and is actively working toward improvement.”

Feedback from one-up manager

This blended learning program was a collaboration between Providence St. Joseph Health Integrated Talent Management and the Nursing Institute. PSJH used the Intrepid platform to deliver pre- and post-work around live in-person events. The four in-person events were wrapped with online content, peer discussions, and Missions that applied learning to the job. Smaller peer groups were formed at the in-person events to foster networking, and also continued with online discussion forums.

The online portion included assignment information with due dates, as well as Missions that applied the learning on the job. In one session, nurse managers had to choose a PowerPoint and deliver the presentation to their team. The nurse managers wrote up their reflections from the presentation based upon reactions from the team, then posted them as a Mission in the Intrepid platform for others to learn from.
Brandon Hall Group Gold Learning Award 2018
Brandon Hall Group Silver Leadership Development Award 2018
Brandon Hall Group Silver Learning Award 2018


Providence St. Joseph Health used a multi-phased assessment approach to track the ROI and impact of the program. This included evaluations to determine the immediate reaction to the program, pre- and post-surveys to assess the response to the learning, follow-up surveys to track growth, data to track turnover rates, and patient experience surveys to gauge the changes in the organization.

The results of the pilot were very positive, with participants giving the following evaluations:

  • Nurse managers gave the overall quality of in-person sessions a score of 4.75 out of 5. They rated the direct application of content to the job at 4.85 out of 5.

  • In terms of how strongly participants would recommend the content to other nurse managers, the result was 4.95 out of 5.

  • Nurse managers’ comfort level with using leadership skills before the program averaged 2.75. After completing the program, this rose 1.15 points to an impressive 3.9 out of 5.

  • Their overall knowledge of the covered topics rose, too. The nurse managers’ improvement in knowledge acquisition rose from a 2.75 average before the program to 4.25 after completion—a difference of 1.5 points.

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