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Academic/Practice Partnerships: Incubators for Innovations in Clinical Learning

Research Team

Kathleen R. Delaney, PhD, PMHNP, FAAN, Project Director

Award Period

07/01/17 - 06/30/19

Funding Source

HRSA - Health Resources and Service Administration


This project develops and evaluates an academic-practice partnership model for clinical training of Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) students within a Federally Qualified Health Center; Heartland Health Centers (HHC). This project addresses the need to increase quality clinical training for FNP students by developing a partnership model that includes a structure for innovation in clinical training and precepting. The partners, HHC and RUSH CON, will collaborate on developing a clinical precepting team that will examine student learning needs, precepting methods, and their relationship to student competency outcomes. The partnership will develop shared learning activities to enrich staff/student development of KSAs unique to the underserved. The CON will also develop and implement curricular enhancements.

This project also provides stipend support prioritized to primary care nurse practitioner students from underrepresented, disadvantaged or veteran groups planning to practice in underserved settings.

The project has six specific objectives: 1. Increase training capacity of our clinical partner, HHC, by developing new strategies for the best use of RN/NP student (time and task) resources and applying these new strategies; 2. Decrease administrative and scheduling demands associated with clinical precepting at HHC by streamlining administrative processes related to conducting and managing student on-boarding, site-related training, and sustained immersion placements; 3. Develop a clinical precepting team which uses the Rapid Cycle Quality Improvement (RCQI) process to incubate innovations in training clinical preceptors and to ensure the quality of student learning; 4. Implement shared learning opportunities for both students and staff, based on the needs of both partners; including distinct knowledge, skills and attitudes (KSAs) in order to enhance patient care for urban underserved, immigrant, and refugee populations; 5. Promote FNP students’ readiness for clinical training by engaging students in pre-clinical training that develops assessment and clinical reasoning skills; 6. Provide longitudinal clinical experiences to ANEW trainees and FNP students that, together with a focus on KSAs unique to the underserved, will prepare students to work with the target population.

Expected outcomes of the project

1) An implementation plan for a resource-pooling partnership model ready to be transported to additional RUSH CON clinical training sites. 2) Improved student outcomes related to competencies and willingness to practice with the underserved. 3) Increased number of RUSH NP graduates employed with the underserved.