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UAB Nursing Partnership Earns Top AACN Award

The UAB Nursing Partnership is making a difference in care and its successes are being recognized on a national level, receiving the 2018 American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s New Era for Academic Nursing Award, its highest academic/practice partnership award.

This award recognizes strong academic nursing partnerships that exemplify a spirit of collaboration, integration and support. The UAB Nursing Partnership is a strategic alignment among the UAB School of Nursing, UAB Medicine and UAB Hospital.

“We have a lot to be proud of. This award is a testament to the fact that we are a highly ranked school of nursing with several important projects underway, and that we have a strong and growing partnership with UAB Hospital and UAB Medicine,” said Associate Dean of Clinical and Global Partnerships Maria Shirey, PhD, MBA, MS, RN, NEA-BC, ANEF, FACHE, FNAP, FAAN.

UAB School of Nursing, UAB Hospital and UAB Medicine have maintained an academic-practice relationship for many years, but that relationship grew into a robust partnership with the arrival of UAB School of Nursing Dean and Fay B. Ireland Endowed Chair in Nursing Doreen Harper, PhD, RN, FAAN.

“We were clinical partners for many years in terms of student placements, faculty practice and research before a formalized agreement happened,” Harper said. “We created the formal UAB Nursing Partnership to provide the support and tools we all need to achieve professional goals and provide excellent patient care, helping bring together the collective knowledge of providers from both the academic and clinical environments and bridge the resources we all use to impact quality nursing and health care across the state and the nation.”

The partnership developed two nurse-led interprofessional clinics that care for vulnerable populations, the PATH (Providing Access to Healthcare) Clinic and Heart Failure Clinic. As a result of these clinics, UAB Hospital has seen an annualized savings of $2.4 million for the PATH Clinic and $3.9 million for the Heart Failure clinic, according to recent data. Patient satisfaction scores are also consistently high, Shirey said, and they have seen improved clinical outcomes.

“SON faculty and UAB Hospital staff work in collaboration on improvement, research and translation on a daily basis,” said UAB Hospital Chief Nursing Officer and UAB SON alumna Terri Poe, DNP, RN, NE-BC (BSN 1986, DNP 2013). “We have ongoing collaborations to develop solutions to nursing-sensitive topics, such as hospital acquired pressure ulcers, knowing that only through the investment in academic and clinical practice can we begin to chip away at concerns that seriously impact patient safety and quality of care.”