Paper
Sunday, November 4, 2007

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This presentation is part of : Educational Strategies and Initiatives
Leveraging a VA Partnership to Craft a Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) Program
Doris Troth Lippman, FAAN, APRN, EdD, CS1, Jean W. Lange, RN, PhD1, Meredith Wallace, PhD, APRN1, Sheila Grossman, PhD, APRN-BC, FNP1, Carol Fackler, MS, RN1, and Theresa Conroy, RN, MSN2. (1) School of Nursing, Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT, USA, (2) Nursing, VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT, USA
Learning Objective #1: Describe the development of a Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) program.
Learning Objective #2: Identify ingredients to successful clinical and academic partnerships essential to Clinical Nruse Leader (CNL) program success.

Background: The concept of the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) was proposed in a White Paper issued by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) in May 2003. The role of the CNL was developed in response to perceived client care and health care delivery system needs. The CNL is a leader not just in the acute care setting but also in all settings where heath care is delivered and provides leadership in designing evidence-based systems that more effectively manage care for a specific patient population. An early adopter of this role nationally has been the Veteranís Administration Healthcare system (VA). The VA has a national database from which the impact of the CNL role on patient outcomes can be measured. Purpose: The purpose of this presentation is to describe the development of a partnership with a regional VA to collaboratively develop and pilot a CNL curriculum that addresses the needs of key stakeholders. Methods: With full administrative support, an agency champion at the VA was identified to participate with a team of faculty at an area school of nursing to plan the curriculum, develop an agency-specific job description, market the program and role within the agency, enroll students, test the efficacy of this role on a pilot unit, and disseminate the outcomes of the project. Implications: Strong VA support for the CNL role at the national level has created a ready pool of potential partners for Schools of Nursing wishing to launch a CNL program. VA partnership provides an opportunity for testing, evaluating, and refining the program, as well as to demonstrate the positive impact of initial CNL graduates on patient outcomes. Improved outcomes can provide the basis for marketing the role to additional agencies in order to further support program enrollment.