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Rady Children’s Among Hospitals Selected to Participate in AACN Nurse Leadership Skill-Building Program

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. — Jan. 26, 2016 — The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) continues the national rollout of its nurse leadership and innovation training program with the addition of Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego and seven other San Diego-area hospitals.

The hospital-based AACN Clinical Scene Investigator (CSI) Academy is designed to empower bedside nurses as clinician leaders and change agents whose initiatives measurably improve the quality of patient care with bottom-line impact to the hospital.

San Diego hospitals participating in AACN CSI Academy:

Local healthcare leaders said the AACN program will offer opportunities for increased collaboration among nurses from San Diego-area hospitals and schools of nursing.

“Nurses in our area have a passion for leading evidence-based practice and regularly work together on quality improvement projects and clinical research,” said Margarita Baggett, RN, MSN, chief clinical officer at UC San Diego Health. “AACN CSI Academy will help us build further leadership capacity among our frontline nurse leaders, teaching them about working with their teams to attain exceptional outcomes.”

For the next 16 months, teams of up to four nurses from each hospital will work with CSI faculty and internal mentors to identify issues related to 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.

“Through AACN CSI Academy, bedside nurses become drivers of patient care innovations and sustainable improvements to clinical practice,” said AACN CEO Dana Woods. “The program offers remarkable benefits for nurses, patients and hospitals, clearly demonstrating that engagement of frontline nurses in leading efforts to enhance patient care and decrease costs is an essential element of sustainable improvement.”

Woods added that the San Diego group’s decision to participate in the CSI Academy program underscores the growing recognition by hospital administrators of the value of investing in the leadership development of bedside nurses.

As the ninth regional cohort to participate in AACN CSI Academy, the teams in San Diego follow groups in Arizona, Indiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington.

Nationwide, more than 260 nurses at 68 hospitals have completed or are now participating in the program.

Nurse participants in other regions took on projects such as preventing ventilator-associated pneumonia, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, pressure ulcers, falls and delirium, and improving early mobility, communication and teamwork between healthcare providers and patients’ families.

To date, these patient care initiatives have substantially improved clinical outcomes while demonstrating anticipated financial savings of more than $28 million annually. The work of these teams has also shed light on the importance of ensuring direct care nurses have adequate time away from the bedside to advance learning, analyze quality trends and collaborate with colleagues in designing and implementing lasting changes in practice that lead to better patient care.

As part of its broader goal to inspire and empower all acute and critical care nurses to lead change that benefits their patients and improves the effectiveness of their organizations, AACN shares the CSI Academy team learnings, results and documentation by offering online access to CSI Academy innovation projects.

These real-world project plans, clinical interventions, data collection tools, outcomes and references will continue to grow as more CSI teams complete the program.

With more than 25,000 unique downloads of project materials, the CSI innovation project library has quickly become a resource for hospitals throughout the United States and abroad as healthcare administrators and clinical leaders seek practice-based solutions to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs. Access the CSI projects from the AACN CSI Academy Web page or

AACN CSI Academy represents a substantial investment by AACN in the future of nursing, funding more than $2.25 million over the last four years to support national implementation of the program at partner hospitals across the country. This investment reflects AACN’s high-level strategic response to the Institute of Medicine’s landmark “Future of Nursing” report and represents the national expansion of a pilot program developed by Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri.

Editorial Contact:
Kristie Aylett
AACN Communications

About the National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition: Founded in 1969 and based in Aliso Viejo, California, 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 includes more than 225 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.

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, 101 Columbia, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656-4109;
Phone: 949-362-2000;;;