By Jimmy Creed
In a continuing effort to align critical resources to provide outstanding patient care, invest in teaching and training for interprofessional collaboration and partner in research and scholarship, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Health System, the UAB School of Nursing and UAB Hospital have formally expanded the UAB Nursing Partnership.
With even more emphasis on lifelong learning, professional development and innovation, especially in the areas of quality and safety, the elite collaboration benefits UAB’s own nursing population and patients and enhances its standing as a champion for excellence in academic nursing and clinical practice nationwide.
“We have all been clinical partners for some time, but this is different,” UAB School of Nursing Dean and Fay B. Ireland Endowed Chair in Nursing Doreen C. Harper, PhD, RN, FAAN, said. “It is different because now we are looking at formal projects and other ways we can work together even more closely to produce nurses who know how to deliver the best quality nursing care anywhere, to create innovative models of care, and to enable nursing faculty to be more deeply engaged in clinical practice.”
The more formalized partnership now includes a common mission, common vision and common values, said UAB Hospital Chief Nursing Officer Terri Poe, DNP, RN, NE-BC, a two-time graduate of the UAB School of Nursing with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (1986) and a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree (2013).
“We have collaborated for years, but over the last year we have worked with teams from all the entities to create a more formal partnership to provide the support and tools we all need to achieve professional goals and provide excellent patient care,” Poe said. “This partnership among faculty, staff and students from all the areas will help us bring together the collective knowledge of the providers from both the academic and clinical environments and bridge the resources we will all use to impact nursing across the state and the nation.”
Harper said a formal partnership is a natural step in the process as the different groups work together to bolster UAB’s reputation as one of the nation’s leading academic health science centers.
“When I speak to people across the country and they say “you’re from UAB” they are not just thinking about the UAB School of Nursing, they are thinking about the University, UAB Hospital, and all the people that make up the UAB Health System,” Harper said. “Our School’s mission is critical to the success of the University, UAB Hospital and the UAB Health System, and their success is critical to our mission as we work together to improve health and health care.
“We want to be the pipeline for professional development and educational access that helps UAB and all of the entities it comprises be the best they can possibly be and, most importantly, provide the best for our patients. This partnership recognizes academic nursing as a full partner in health care delivery, education and research.”
Some of the prime objectives of the UAB Nursing Partnership include achieving quality outcomes and promoting a culture of safety, a commitment to research-driven inquiry and a commitment to identify and communicate joint research opportunities that take advantage of current resources.
Poe believes the quality and safety theme for National Nurses Week 2016, as well as the Health System's theme “UAB Nursing: The Difference,” appropriately sum up the UAB Nursing Partnership as well.
“We all know that UAB Nursing is different,” Poe said. “We are different because not just anyone can be a UAB nurse. Things are more challenging here. Work is more demanding. Our expectations are higher. Opportunities to change lives are greater.
“Our nurses are the best of the best, and the UAB Nursing Partnership does even more to set us apart from other institutions across the country.”
Formal expansion announced of UAB Nursing - partnership among School, Health System, Hospital
Emphasizes lifelong learning, professional development and innovation, especially in the areas of quality and safety