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Banner Health Hospitals Join AACN’s Nurse Leadership Skill-Building Program

Jun 24, 2015

Added to Collection

06.23.15 – AACN news release

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. — June 23, 2015  — The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) partners with Banner Health, one of the largest nonprofit health systems in the country, to bring its nursing excellence and leadership skill-building program to 11 Banner-affiliated hospitals in the Greater Phoenix area.

The partnership marks the first time AACN has selected an individual health system to participate in its hospital-based AACN Clinical Scene Investigator (CSI) Academy, which 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. 

“Our partnership with Banner Health marks the beginning of a new phase of learning about how AACN CSI Academy can achieve its full potential,” said AACN CEO Dana Woods. “This collaboration provides an opportunity to understand the factors that facilitate, and inhibit, the impact and sustainability of quality improvements in a health system versus a single unit or hospital.” 

The Phoenix-area Banner Health hospitals participating in the team-based program:

Banner Health leaders said they share AACN’s commitment to investing in bedside nurses’ leadership development.

“We see this as an exciting opportunity for our nurses to receive additional knowledge and tools to improve the quality and cost of care,” said Deborah Martin, senior director of Professional Practice at Banner Health.

“The CSI program will teach nurses how to make the business case for specific approaches to improving patients’ experiences with care, improving clinical outcomes and reducing costs – the ‘Triple Aim’ that is guiding reforms in healthcare today."

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. 

The AACN CSI Academy teams at Banner Health’s Phoenix-area hospitals follow regional cohorts that participated in the CSI program in Indiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington. 

Nationwide, more than 200 nurses at 60 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, their 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 through the AACN CSI Academy Innovation Database

This searchable database of real-world project plans, clinical interventions, data collection tools, outcomes and references will continue to grow as additional CSI teams complete the program. 

With more than 15,000 unique downloads of project materials, the database 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 database from the AACN CSI Academy Web page.

As the only nursing excellence and leadership skill-building program that provides hospitals with both educational programming and grant funds to support project implementation, AACN CSI Academy represents a substantial investment by AACN in the future of nursing.

During the past three years, AACN has invested more than $1.25 million to fund national implementation of the program at partner hospitals across the country. It 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.

About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses: 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 235 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
Fax: (949) 362-2020
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