Skills Fair Ideas?


My hospital is wanting to begin holding a skills fair yearly and since it will be new to us, I was wondering if you all could give me some ideas as to what your skills fairs are like? Things like what the stations are like, what you review every year etc. Any resources would be greatly appreciated also! Thank you in advance :heartbeat


914 Posts

My hospital puts on skills fairs for nurses twice a year. Since teaching colleagues about a particular topic or skill is part of the institution's clinical ladder, many volunteer to act as instructors. It's set up in a big conference room, which doesn't work for me as I find it difficult to hear. I wish the stations -- usually big tables with trifold displays and seats for six to 10 people -- were set up further apart. After completing the fair, we take exams online. Past topics have included:

Proper use and care of PICC lines

Proper use of restraints, based on unit

Sliding scale insulin protocol

Intraosseous IVs


Correct use of oxygen and various appliances

Code 99 response

Pediatric codes

Programming IV pumps for critical care

Expanded use of telemetry monitors (e.g., 12-lead) and interpretation

Obviously not everyone needs every aspect of a fair; e.g., an ER nurse doesn't have to complete the Code 99 station. But everyone does have to complete an evaluation of the event and offer suggestions for future training. Each fair usually takes three to four hours to complete, and two are scheduled on different days within a month period. There's always a big table encouraging nurses to seek certification, too.

nursej22, MSN, RN

3,147 Posts

Specializes in Public Health, TB. Has 38 years experience.

Our hospital does unit specific skills fairs, and this is what our cardiovascular floor does:

Central line care

Temporary pacing

chest tubes

arteriotomy care

epidural and PCA pumps

Infection control update

Exploring the inside of the code cart

We also demonstrate the QC on our glucometers, guiacs and gastroccults. This is required by our lab.

In the past we had a specialty bed session, with the company reps present to demonstrate the various functions.

Flo., BSN, RN

571 Posts

Specializes in Developmental Disabilites,. Has 7 years experience.

We have a hospital wide skills fair every quarter. Topics include:

-chest tubes

- IV therapy

- Hospital Policy on various topics




914 Posts

Specializes in Cardiac/Telemetry.

We do unit specific skills fairs, and they include:

Chest tubes: care and maintenance.

External pacemakers.

Code blues

Information regarding magnets for ICD's.

Dressing changes of all of the above.

Maxi moves, stedys.



20 Posts


This year I am in charge of putting our skills fair together. I have decided to make it fun. While most of our annual requirements are on Healthstream now, there are skills that still need to be done. There will be a Point of Care station that a lab tech will run, a restraints station, code blue responder roles using a manniquen, a Wheel of Fortune with "What could happen" (the wheel is made and looks great), Jeopardy with core measures, NPSGs, Time-out, and Miscellaneous, and more things. I think it will be fun this year and at the end of the fair, points will be tallied up and prizes given out for the highest. Oh, I forget to tell you, each station will have so many points you can earn. I hope this helps and gives you some ideas!


914 Posts

Just completed an excellent skills fair that was specific to the ED. There were only three stations, but they were excellent. The whole thing took two and a half hours to complete. The stations:

Cardiac cases and minorities: Why we should lower the EKG threshhold for minorities, a review of the different presentations by sex, and correct (and legal) use of interpreters. We work with a significant immigrant population.

Differential diagnoses for stroke and how to respond when receiving a stroke patient by ambulance.

Pediatric codes: How to respond to various scenarios, a review of the pedi cart and use of the Broselow tape.

nerdtonurse?, BSN, RN

3 Articles; 2,043 Posts

Specializes in ICU, Telemetry.

accessing port-a-caths -- we don't see one for a month, then we have 5 hit the unit in a single shift, seems like....

Post cardiac cath/intervention care

Proper use of lifts (and while there was some betting going on that if one of the managers got in the lift, we'd have an "oopsie!" nobody got dumped on their head).

We also did all of our normal yearly check offs on the glucometer, hemocult, and we had a place where people could get flu shots and take their PPDs. Drawings for gift bags, coupons for a free meal in the cafeteria, etc.


20 Posts

That's a good idea. I did not even think of giving out a coupon for a free meal in the cafeteria! Thank you. I am going to use that in my skills fair!!:yeah:


914 Posts

Ours is a budget operation. We have a different kind of chocolate at every table!


1 Post

This will be our 7th one this year. We do nurse competencies. We also review information like our emergency plans, lift equipment with demonstration, hand washing, workplace injuries. We do most of our flu vaccinations then also. We have a 'spinning will' that has a variety of questions on topics like HIPAA, codes, etc. We review Life Safety info. A bit more also. I distribute prizes at the end for participants, and we have treats at all of the stations. It is quite fun, yet draining also. Staff have reported positive to it every year. I am currently searching for a theme. I have a copy of a checklist from a prior one if you would like to see. You can email me at


176 Posts

Specializes in Critical care. Has 42 years experience.

We have done this for at least 10 years. Our new nurse CEO has decided to stop having skills day. She doesn't want to pay anyone for coming.