Clinical Scene Investigator Academy: Piloting the Future of Nursing

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses CSI Academy empowers staff nurses by offering knowledge, tools and financial support to gain the skills and experience necessary to become future nurse leaders who will guide their staffs in creating unit-based change. The academy is the only nursing excellence and leadership skill-building program that provides both educational programming and grant funds to support project implementation. It uses a team-based approach with the expectation that participating nurses will implement initiatives that both improve patient care and decrease costs. The AACN CSI Academy was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Northwest Health Foundation and reaffirms AACN’s commitment to the Institute of Medicine’s landmark report on the future of nursing by supporting the vital role that nursing plays in the transformation of health care.

A Promising Start

The original pilot was conducted with 23 staff nurses at seven hospitals in the Kansas City, Missouri, area. The results of this pilot showed significant improvements in patient outcomes and cost savings. Heel ulcers were reduced 51%, hospital-acquired pressure ulcers were decreased by 65%, and falls with injury dropped 21%. Savings to the hospitals averaged $506,000, $460,000, and $230,096, respectively. Equally as notable, the nurses who participated came away with a sense of empowerment in their ability to influence care on their units, improve patient outcomes and increase nursing satisfaction.

Expanding Its Reach

The AACN CSI Academy is now active in 42 hospitals, across six states,  including Indiana, North Carolina, Massachusetts and Texas, along with seven hospitals in Pennsylvania and another seven hospitals in New York that have recently been added. New York makes up the sixth and final cohort in the pilot. At each site, a team of four nurses is working with AACN CSI Academy faculty and a mentor chosen from within the team’s facility. Participants are learning leadership skills, project identification, data collection and analysis, project implementation techniques, and strategic communication. During the next 16 months, these nurses will be identifying patient care improvements related to preventing ventilator-associated pneumonia, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, pressure ulcers, falls, delirium and unplanned extubations.

In addition to the benefits that the AACN CSI Academy will bring to those hospitals that are participating in the program, it is expected to advance innovation among nurses at other institutions as well by sharing results and best practices. Nurses who participated in the Indianapolis pilot, for example, will be sharing their project results with regional health care leaders during November. AACN will then share these presentations, tools and resources with the larger nursing community on its website.

To access additional resources to help preserve patient safety and implement quality improvement measures, look into Mosby’s Nursing Consult: Quality and Safety.

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