Date of Graduation

Winter 12-16-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


School of Nursing and Health Professions



First Advisor

Dr. Robin Buccheri

Second Advisor

Dr. Wanda Borges



The IOM reports (1999, 2001) were catalysts for development of a new nursing role - the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL). Academic practice partnership models are needed to integrate the CNL role in health care systems.


A large integrated health care system in Northern California and a university Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) program initiated a formal academic practice partnership, establishing a hospital based MSN CNL program.


A CNL implementation model was developed that includes (a) academic practice partnership advisory charter; (b) academic practice partnership roles (MSN CNL program director, MSN CNL faculty liaison, and hospital-based CNL preceptor/mentor); (c) CNL preceptor/mentor educational module; and (d) electronic CNL program implementation toolkit.


Likert-type scale questionnaires were developed to assess the perception of the value of the CNL program from nursing leaders and CNL students participating in the pilot site hospital model.


Results from the nursing leaders indicate that nursing leaders are now familiar with the competencies of the CNL, and perceive that graduates with these competencies bring value to the organization. Results from students indicate that CNL students value the hospital -based model, apply theory from the courses in their current leadership roles, and can articulate improved patient and system outcomes they hope to achieve as CNL graduates.


Academic practice partnerships support the integration of CNL education and new models of CNL practice within organizations. The CNL program implementation model is a strategic tool to develop long-term, sustainable academic practice partnerships that improve health care outcomes.