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Creighton School of Nursing Unveils Nurse Leader Program

Creighton School of Nursing Unveils Nurse Leader Program

Creighton University School of Nursing is partnering with four Nebraska hospitals to offer a new master’s degree program designed to improve safety and quality of patient care in hospitals.

The program is part of a national pilot project initiated by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. About 90 nursing schools nationwide are participating in the effort to develop the new role, called the Clinical Nurse LeaderSM.

Beginning in spring 2007, Creighton will offer a master’s degree program designed for persons already holding associate or bachelor’s degrees in nursing. The program includes a seven-semester curriculum for associate degree holders and a five-semester curriculum for bachelor’s degree holders.

Eleanor Howell, R.N., Ph.D., Creighton dean of nursing, noted that development of the Clinical Nurse Leader is in recognition of the importance of nurses at the bedside in improving the care environment and managing the increasingly complex health care needs of Americans.

“There is increasing demand for nurses who are educated to manage patients in the context of complex health care environments and to accelerate the transformational change needed to design safer, higher-quality health care facilities,” Howell said. “Clinical nurse leaders will engage in direct care while supporting nurses and serving as liaisons between patients and their other health care providers, from physicians to clinical nurse specialists to social workers, to promote more effective bedside care and lowered risks to patients.”

In Nebraska, Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha, Veterans Administration Medical Center in Omaha, Mary Lanning Memorial Hospital in Hastings, and St. Francis Medical Center in Grand Island will be involved in Creighton’s pilot project. Each hospital is in the process of identifying nurses to participate in the first class.

Leota Rolls, M.S.N., vice president for Mary Lanning Memorial Hospital, said that hospital is excited to be involved in the pilot project.

“As nursing has evolved, it is critical for nurses to take an active and dynamic role in the provision of knowledgeable care to their patients and to serve as advocates to ensure safe care for those patients,” Rolls said. “The Clinical Nurse Leader initiative allows nurses to take on more administrative responsibilities while continuing to serve patients directly in a clinical setting.”

For more information on Creighton’s Clinical Nurse Leader initiative, contact program Director Cindy Costanzo, R.N., Ph.D., at (402) 280-2041.

Editors: The following contacts are available for interviews about their participation in Creighton’s Clinical Nurse Leader program:

- Leota Rolls, vice president for Mary Lanning Memorial Hospital in Hastings, (402) 461-5106

- Francine Sparby , vice president for patient care services at Saint Francis Medical Center in Grand Island, (308) 398-5625

-Anita Larsen, vice president for patient care services at Creighton University Medical Center, (402) 449-4883

- Eileen Kingston, associate director for patient care and nurse executive at Veterans Administration Health Care System, Nebraska-Western Iowa, (402) 346-8800

Posted: 10/24/06