Clinical Academic Practice Partnership: Perspectives from the United States and Australia

Thursday, 2 August 2012: 1:35 PM

Linda Costa, PhD, RN
Nursing Administration, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD
Kay Edgecombe, MN, RN
Faculty of Health Sciences, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia

Learning Objective 1: Describe a model for collaborative work of academia and service in developing the registered workforce for the future.

Learning Objective 2: Discuss international knowledge generation as a benefit for advancing the nursing profession.

Purpose: Academic and clinical institutions share a joint responsibility in preparing new graduates for practice in healthcare.  Different perspectives of practice readiness may exist; however, creating Clinical Academic Practice Partnerships (CAPP) through the design of dedicated education units (DEU) is an area where mutual preparation goals can coalesce.  In this model, the expertise of clinical bedside nurses is maximized functioning as a student preceptor. The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing implemented the CAPP program in four hospitals.  This descriptive study evaluated the stakeholders support for the program.  The Australian experience with the DEU model provided background for the study.

Methods: Five groups of stakeholders were surveyed including students, academic faculty, CAPP preceptors, staff nurses, and nursing leadership. Six-point Likert scale questions were anchored by strongly agree (6) to strongly disagree (1). A faculty member from Flinders University provided insight into the preceptor role and evaluation components.  Focus groups were held with students and preceptors.

 Results: One hundred and twelve responses were received. Mean scores with the overall satisfaction with the CAPP program ranged from 5.85 (students) to 4.77 (non-preceptor RNs).  Nurse leaders responded with the highest item score 6+0: I feel the CAPP program is providing students with high quality clinical experience compared to the traditional educational model. New and experienced preceptors ranked the same items highest: 1) Share my knowledge with students (5.50+0.73); 2) Improve my teaching skills (5.43 + 0.89); and 3) Contribute to my profession (5.35 + 0.83). Preceptors identified having a full assignment as a barrier. 

 Conclusion: The CAPP program has proven beneficial to academia and service partners.  CAPP study findings strongly parallel the experiences of clinical staff engaged in DEU roles in Australia. We are undertaking a cost-benefit analysis of program outcomes.  Work continues on evaluating preceptor workload and clarification of academic faculty role.