Dr. Joan Stanley featured speaker at Spring Hill’s MSN-CNL Partners Meeting

Thu, 06/07/2007 (All day)

Mobile, AL — Dr. Joan Stanley, RN, CRNP, FAAN, senior director of education policy at the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), was the keynote speaker last week at Spring Hill College’s Division of Nursing Annual Master of Science in Nursing, Clinical Nurse Leader (MSN-CNL) Partners Meeting. Stanley addressed nursing lhughesistrators, students, and faculty and staff stressing the importance of the newest role in nursing, the clinical nurse leader.

The CNL concept evolved from a variety of agencies including AACN, the American Hospital Association (AHA), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) who were looking at the growing shortage of professional nursing personnel. At its January 2004 board meeting, AACN confirmed its support for the creation of a new role in nursing and agreed to assume the leadership role in the CNL initiative and established an Implementation Task Force to oversee the effort to launch a pilot program to prepare CNL’s at the master’s degree level. The CNL is a generalist clinician and must be prepared to bring a high level of clinical competence and knowledge to the point of care and to serve as a resource for the clinical nursing team. 

Leadership within the Division of Nursing at SHC followed the progress closely and applied for a grant through HRSA to launch a CNL program. The grant application was approved in September 2005 and the first MSN-CNL students began classes in March 2006. Spring Hill was the first school in the region to offer the program and the entire curriculum is available online. The SHC program currently has students from Mobile, Monroeville, Atmore, Birmingham, Montgomery, and Dothan, Ala.; Water Valley, Miss.; Pensacola, Fla.; and Atlanta, Ga., representing 15 partner hospitals.

Partnerships between educational institutions and practice facilities are a critical component in the development of the CNL role. “Spring Hill strives to provide its partners with information from leaders in the nursing profession,” said Dr. Carol Harrison, professor and chair of the Division of Nursing. “The CNL is a new role, and we all must learn together how we can fully utilize the CNLs to improve the overall quality of healthcare.” In addition to Stanley, Kimberly New, RN, MSN from Infirmary West joined the discussion, sharing her experience and excitement for the CNL role. Students in the CNL program also shared outcomes of their research projects and possible future implications for hospital leaders.

Dr. Ola Fox, associate professor at SHC, was recently appointed to AACN’s newly created CNL Steering Committee. “This is a very prestigious honor, and it will give us the ability to monitor the progression of the CNL role and continue to improve our program and the support we can provide our practice partners,” she said. Dr. Fox, one of only 14 members nationwide, joined the faculty at SHC specifically to develop the CNL program.

For more information on Spring Hill College and its MSN program, visit www.shc.edu/msn or call (800) 524-8957.