North Carolina Hospitals Selected for AACN's National Nurse Leadership Program

Oct 24, 2012, 08:10 ET from American Association of Critical-Care Nurses

ALISO VIEJO, Calif., Oct. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) has selected seven hospitals in central North Carolina to participate in its new hospital-based nurse leadership and innovation training program.

AACN Clinical Scene Investigator (CSI) Academy is designed to empower bedside nurses as clinician leaders and change agents whose initiatives measurably improve patient outcomes with bottom-line impact to the hospital. It is the only nursing excellence and leadership skill-building program that provides hospitals with both educational tools and funds to support implementation.

Participating hospitals in North Carolina:

Caryl Goodyear-Bruch, RN, Ph.D., will serve as lead faculty for the nurses selected by their North Carolina hospitals. She is director of professional resources and leadership development at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics, Kansas City, Mo., and served as AACN's 2008-09 national president.

"Through AACN CSI Academy, we engage the already excellent nurses in the Raleigh-Durham area to further develop their leadership skills and competencies by focusing on improving patient outcomes," she said. "Nurses every day meet the needs of their patients, and there's growing recognition that by doing so, nurses contribute significantly to the delivery of quality care, patient safety and the overall bottom line."

The program is designed to foster industry-wide nursing innovation by extending its reach beyond individual participants and their hospitals through the planned sharing of results and best practices via publications, presentations and online content.

Healthcare leaders in the Raleigh-Durham area are eager to introduce the program to local nurses and anticipate the benefits will be immediate and long-lasting.

"AACN CSI Academy streamlines the process of integrating innovative best practices into everyday nursing practice," said Elizabeth "Betty" Woodard, RN, Ph.D., director of nursing research and evidence-based practice at WakeMed Health & Hospitals. "This program brings nationally renowned faculty, proven tools and the newest resources directly into our neighborhood hospitals. It has the potential to move critical care practice forward quickly."

For the next 16 months, teams of four nurses from each hospital will work with CSI faculty, an internal mentor and their chief nursing officer to identify issues related to their existing patient care responsibilities. Teams will then develop and implement unit-based projects, resulting in quantifiable improvements in patient outcomes and decreases in hospital expenses. In most cases, it is anticipated the projects will later be implemented in other units at each hospital.

AACN CSI Academy is already in progress at six hospitals in Indianapolis, where nurse participants are undertaking projects focused on preventing pressure ulcers, falls, delirium and unplanned extubation, and improving communication and teamwork between healthcare providers and patients' families.

Indianapolis program participant Susan Willock, RN, BS, BSN, MEd, CCRN, clinical specialty coordinator at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, says the program supports the concept that bedside nurses are the driving force behind improved patient care and positive outcomes.

"I feel even more empowered as an advocate for our patients," Willock said. "This program enables us to look at our care and our processes more critically, identifying where things can be improved for both patients and the organization."

Over the next three years, AACN will implement the AACN CSI Academy program nationally, as partner hospitals in other areas of the country are selected. The program represents a substantial investment by AACN in the future of nursing, with each participating hospital receiving a $10,000 grant to support its team's learning and project implementation.

AACN CSI Academy expands a successful pilot program originally developed by the Bi-State Nursing Innovation Center, Kansas City, Mo., with support from Partners Investing in Nursing's Future (Northwest Health Foundation and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation), the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City and the REACH Foundation. Initiatives developed as part of the pilot resulted in significant patient improvements, including an 80 percent reduction in heel ulcers at one hospital and significant reductions in communication errors, medical errors and injury-causing falls at another. In total, the nurse-led projects saved $2.6 million across the seven hospitals participating in the pilot program.

About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses: Founded in 1969 and based in Aliso Viejo, Calif., the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world. AACN joins together the interests of more than 500,000 acute and critical care nurses and claims more than 240 chapters worldwide. The organization's vision is to create a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution.;;

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SOURCE American Association of Critical-Care Nurses