News Around the School: VUSN and VUMC receive New Era for Academic Nursing Award from AACN

The active and productive partnership between Vanderbilt University School of Nursing and Vanderbilt University Medical Center has been recognized by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) with its 2019 New Era for Academic Nursing Award.

The competitive honor recognizes schools of nursing and academic medical centers that are committed to positioning academic nursing as an equal partner in health care transformation in the U.S. It is the organization’s highest academic/practice partnership award.

Dean Norman and Alumna/Faculty April Kapu hold glass awards

Embracing this equal status for nursing was the top recommendation from the AACN 2016 report, Advancing Healthcare Transformation: A New Era for Academic Nursing, which looked at the role of nursing schools in health care reform and challenged schools to strengthen nursing’s impact.

VUSN and VUMC received the 2019 award for their public and visible commitment to incorporating academic nursing into the mission and practice of the health system, as demonstrated by a variety of joint initiatives.

“The School of Nursing is very fortunate that VUMC supports academic nursing as a valued teammate in health care delivery, education and research,” said VUSN Dean Linda D. Norman, DSN, RN, FAAN, the Valere Potter Menefee Professor of Nursing. “We benefit from each other’s vision and expertise: For example, School of Nursing faculty serve in senior leadership roles at the Medical Center and on VUMC boards. VUMC clinical nursing leaders are in leadership at VUSN, hold faculty positions and advise doctoral students.”

VUMC’s and VUSN’s long-standing partnership includes clinical practice, advanced practice nursing, research, nurse-led community programs, workforce development and nurse recruitment. The relationship is particularly robust in the area of faculty practice.

“VUMC has a division of nurse-managed faculty practices run by VUSN leaders. The growth of these practices is part of VUMC’s strategic plan of growth and service,” Norman said. “Currently, the Nurse Faculty Practice division has more than 10 practice sites and has been asked by VUMC leadership to add 10 additional sites in the next two years to meet population health needs.”

VUMC Executive Chief Nursing Officer Marilyn Dubree, MSN’76, RN, NE-BC, serves on the VUSN Dean’s Advisory Council and as associate dean for clinical practice at the school.

“Academic health care systems like VUMC are changing to meet societal and economic needs. They see the value in community-based care, interdisciplinary teams and chronic disease prevention and management—all patient-focused models at which nurses excel. And increasingly, they’re looking to nurses to lead,” Dubree said. “At VUMC, we’re partnering with the School of Nursing and our nurses to explore new approaches of care delivery, achieve improved health outcomes and foster innovation.”

As the collective voice for academic nursing, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing represents 825 member schools of nursing at public and private universities nationwide. AACN establishes quality standards for nursing education, influences the nursing profession to improve health care, and promotes public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education.