A Collaborative Academic-Service Partnership: A Win-Win for Practice and Academia

Monday, 30 October 2017: 3:05 PM

Mae Ann Pasquale, PhD
Department of Nursing, Cedar Crest College, Allentown, PA, USA
Tricia S. Bernecker, PhD
Department of Nursing and Health, DeSales University, Center Valley, PA, USA

In 2011, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on the Future of Nursing called for major initiatives to redesign both nursing education and practice to better prepare nurses to lead during healthcare reform and beyond. The IOM (2011) further challenged academic and service institutions to rethink their relationships with each other and align in new ways to produce a competent professional workforce for the future. Academic-service partnerships are being lauded as an important mechanism to meet this challenge (De Geest et al., 2013). Collaborative partnerships between academics and health service providers are the foundation towards bridging the overall education, research, and practice gaps within the nursing discipline (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 1997). New approaches that go beyond classroom education and initiatives that align nurse scientists with practicing nurses must be adopted (DeBourgh, 2012; Duffy et al., 2015). This presentation will describe the innovative and transformational efforts of a collaborative academic-service partnership (CASP), between two local academic institutions and nursing services at an affiliated Magnet® designated healthcare system. This Partnership is unique from several perspectives, particularly that faculty from the two separate and competing nursing programs share a collaborative role and the healthcare system is a non-university setting. To attain a level of excellence that neither academe nor practice could achieve alone, the CASP was established in 2013. Guided by a mutually beneficial strategic plan and shared vision to strengthen and build capacity in nursing research, evidence-based practice (EBP), and education, the CASP has synergistic benefits for all partners. The nationally recognized health system offers preferred clinical placement for students and extraordinary research and educational opportunities; the academic institutions brings faculty with expertise in research and EBP and offers an increased ability to recruit their BSN, MSN, and DNP graduates. To operationalize the CASP, two PhD nurse faculty members (Academic Partners [AP]) from the two different local nursing programs, work collaboratively in a multi-faceted role and spend 25% of their time at the hospital network each semester. To date, the CASP has created wins for all institutions involved and has resulted in several key outcomes. The APs provide guidance through active membership in many of the research/EBP/leadership councils at the healthcare organization. There are increased educational opportunities for faculty and students at the hospital, such as the annual Nursing Research Day and Innovations in Education Conference. Scholarly productivity is evident through joint research and EBP projects such as an organization--wide investigation of missed nursing care that was undertaken to improve the hospital work environment and has resulted in numerous presentations to advance nursing science. Furthermore, a commitment shared by the partners to improve the transition for new graduates to professional workforce has resulted in a nationally recognized Nurse Residency Program. The roles of both academic and nursing service leaders in the conceptualization, initiation, and continuation of the CASP will be presented. This session will heighten attendees’ awareness that successful partnerships are built on a shared vision, mutual goals, and open communication with all partners, and pragmatic strategies for any organization to replicate will be detailed. Structures, processes, and outcomes to reach the shared vision to advance nursing research, EBP and education will be described. Finally, lessons learned from these mutual affiliations will be highlighted.