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  • Nurses Leading Innovation

  • About AACN CSI Academy

  • Curriculum

Nurses Transforming Healthcare Through Innovation

AACN believes frontline nurses are critical players in creating lasting change and, ultimately, in transforming healthcare. AACN CSI Academy aims to provide staff nurses with the knowledge and support to lead their peers in creating unit-based change that is easily scaled hospital-wide for maximum impact. 

Our investment of resources and expertise in offering this program reflects AACN’s proactive response to the Institute of Medicine's landmark “Future of Nursing” report, which confirms the vital role nursing can and should play in the transformation of healthcare.

AACN Clinical Scene Investigator (CSI) Academy is a 16-month, hospital-based leadership and innovation training program designed to empower bedside nurses as clinician leaders and change agents whose initiatives measurably improve patient and fiscal outcomes.

At its core, AACN CSI Academy leverages the staff nurse's expertise to enhance patient care and expands it with additional leadership skills gained through team education, coaching and mentoring. 

Unit-based teams of nurses immediately apply their learning by working with Academy faculty and a mentor to identify priority patient care challenges, then develop, implement and evaluate solutions that result in quantifiable improvements. 

The program represents the national expansion of a pilot program developed by Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri.

In partnership with a regional CNO champion, AACN identifies area hospitals or health systems to participate in AACN CSI Academy. Selected hospitals engage a team of up to four nurses who work together throughout the program. Curriculum consists of content delivered in an experiential learning environment, including on-site workshops, webinars and regular faculty-peer consultations in person, by phone and via email.

 Topics include:
 
  • Leadership
  • Project Identification
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Data Collection and Analysis
  • Project Implementation
  • Strategic Communications

The program culminates with CSI teams presenting their strategies and outcomes at a regional Innovation Conference.

AACN CSI Program Results

  • Program Reach

  • Clinical Outcomes

  • Fiscal Impact

  • Nurse Impact

The number of lives touched by AACN CSI Academy continues to grow as does the range of clinical challenges tackled by participants.


CSI Academy nurse-led innovations have generated better patient outcomes aligned with national patient safety priorities.


By influencing change in patient care processes and protocols, CSI Academy nurses reduced hospital costs while improving outcomes.


CSI Academy participants experience profound personal and professional growth, and help elevate the profession through widespread sharing of innovation.


The AACN CSI Academy program supports change projects based on quality improvement methods. Although CSI teams seek to ensure linkage between their project and clinical/fiscal outcomes, data cannot be solely attributed to the project and are estimations of impact.

Additional Information

For more information about AACN CSI Academy, explore our AACN CSI Innovation Projects

 or contact us at AACNCSI@aacn.org or 800-899-AACN (2226).