Sunday, November 4, 2007

This presentation is part of : Educational Strategies and Initiatives
The Nurse-Midwifery Initiative: An Example of Optimal Advanced Practice Nursing Curricular Dissemination through Institutional Collaboration
Juliana van Olphen Fehr, PhD, RN, CNM, FACNM, Division of Nursing, Shenandoah University, Winchester, VA, USA
Learning Objective #1: discuss how collaborating educational institutions create optimality when disseminating nurse-midwifery and advanced practice nursing curricula.
Learning Objective #2: discuss 3 techniques that collaborating institutions can use to disseminate advanced practice nursing curricula nationally and internationally.

Strategic partnerships among nursing programs are championed as a creative way to increase access to nursing education. In 2002, the American Nurses Association and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing promoted these partnerships as models to prepare nurses through accessible, affordable, and flexible programs. In 2004, the Institute of Medicine's Board on Health Care Services recommended that health professions schools work collaboratively through distance learning programs to expand education options while encouraging students to pursue higher levels of education. Although many strategic partnerships exist, how do we know that they are functional, efficient, and cost effective? Do they achieve what they set out to achieve? How flexible are they? Can they survive through the changing health care landscape? This presentation will address “optimality” as a guide for creating, delivering, and evaluating these partnerships. According to Kennedy, the definition of optimality is the “dynamic, robust, efficient, and cost-effective achievement of best possible outcomes within a rule-governed framework.” (JOGNN, 2006, 35:6, p. 766). What characteristics make partnerships optimal solutions for curricular dissemination? The Shenandoah University (SU) Midwifery Initiative will be presented as an example of a strategic partnership to deliver advanced practice nursing education. Through this Initiative SU created collaborative agreements with Radford and Old Dominion Universities (both Virginia state universities), and Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. These agreements allow all of these universities to offer nurse-midwifery as a specialty option within their graduate programs. Now nurse-midwifery education is accessible to most registered nurses in Virginia and to those who attend Johns Hopkins University. Using the SU Midwifery Initiative as an example, this author will address (1) the characteristics and challenges of an optimal strategic partnership, (2) the use of informatics within these partnerships to promote optimal performance, and (3) an example of a nationally and/or internationally responsive partnership model.