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Patrician PA, Dolansky MA, Pair V, Bates M, Moore SM, Splaine M, Gilman SC. (2012). The Veterans Affairs National Quality Scholars Program: A Model for Interprofessional Education in Quality and Safety. J Nurs Care Qual.  [Epub ahead of print]

Patricia A. Patrician, Ph.D., RN, FAAN is the lead author on a recent paper published in the Journal of Nursing Care Quality entitled “The Veterans Affairs National Quality Scholars Program:  A Model for Interprofessional Education in Quality and Safety”. 

The article reports on the development in 2009 of a partnership between the Quality Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) program and the Veterans Affairs National Quality Scholarship Program that has resulted in an interdisciplinary quality improvement fellowship for physicians and nurses, the VA National Quality Scholars Fellowship program (VAQS). 

The VAQS consists of eight physical sites, each associated with a local VA hospital and a collaborating University.  Each site is directed by a senior scholar, so far a physician, and a senior nurse scholar.  Two or three fellows (post-resident physicians and/or nurses either enrolled in or a graduate of a doctoral program) participate in an education program consisting of the following four components:  1) completion of a quality improvement project at the fellow’ss VA; 2) bimonthly 2-hour teleconferences connecting all sites; 3) face to face didactic sessions three times each year; and 4) other learning activities. 

The VAQS has recently expanded its emphasis to include interprofessional collaboration which is both explicated taught and implicitly modeled by the faculty.  The Birmingham program is coordinated by the UAB Centers for Outcomes and Effectiveness Research Education and receives leadership support from the Birmingham VA Medical Center and the UAB Schools of Medicine and Nursing.  The experience of the participants is that the program provides benefit for all involved, particularly the patients at the VA who are the ultimate beneficiaries of quality improvement.

For more information contact Dr. Patrician at ppatrici@uab.edu

Article summary by Jennifer Frank, PhD (jfranf@uab.edu)