Advanced Clinical/Practice Fellowships: Supporting Nurses as Evidence-Based Knowledge Professionals

Tuesday, 8 July 2008: 1:35 PM
Heather McConnell, RN, BScN, MA(Ed) , International Affairs and Best Practice Guidelines Programs, Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO), Toronto, ON, Canada
Irmajean Bajnok, RN, MSN, PhD , International Affairs and Best Practice Guidelines Programs, Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario, Toronto, ON, Canada
Neil Halper , International Affairs and Best Practice Guidelines Programs, Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario, Toronto, ON, Canada

Learning Objective 1: understand the key components of the Advanced Clinical/Practice Fellowship (ACPF) program.

Learning Objective 2: discuss the advantages of successful Fellowships in supporting evidence-based nursing practice from the perspective of the Fellow, mentor and sponsoring organization.

The Advanced Clinical/Practice Fellowship Program (ACPF) is a highly successful program focused on providing a focused, intensive mentoring experience for registered nurses wishing to increase clinical knowledge, leadership or guideline implementation skills. This Ontario initiative is designed to: improve patient/client care and outcomes; contribute to the retention and recruitment of nurses by valuing expert knowledge and experience, and by providing professional development opportunities; and support strategic directions of government health policy, health care organizations and the nursing profession.

This presentation will highlight the key elements of the Advanced Clinical/Practice Fellowship (ACPF) program the fellow, the mentor and the sponsoring organization and how having a common vision results in a successful learning experience. The types of Fellowship opportunities will be discussed in relation to how they have been designed to support an evidence-based practice approach.

The structures in place that support the Fellowships will be emphasized - these include recognition of the needs of all the participants, including the fellows, mentors and sponsoring organizations. Discussion will incorporate an overview of the infrastructure resources required to support such an initiative. Participants will gain an appreciation of this unique approach to supporting the development of evidence-informed practice across the domains of nursing.