University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing Professor Linda Roussel, PhD, RN, CCRN, NEA-BC, has been named the inaugural winner of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and the Commission on Nurse Certification (CNC) Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) Educator Vanguard Award. She was presented the award at the annual CNL Summit in late January in Orlando.
This national award recognizes a CNL faculty member or program director for innovative and outstanding preparation and advocacy of Clinical Nurse Leaders. In addition, the award promotes the contributions of the CNL faculty member in transforming nursing education and promoting innovation in both academia and practice. The award recipient receives complimentary registration for the Summit, $500 travel stipend to attend, a commemorative award, and a CNL lapel pin.
To be eligible for the award candidates must be nominated by a nursing faculty member, department chair, dean, CNL graduate, or CNL student. They also must meet a number of criteria, including holding CNL certification from CNC; demonstrate engagement in partnerships with practice; demonstrate professional leadership in developing and sustaining the CNL role through innovative partnerships with a variety of stakeholders, e.g. other disciplines, businesses, professional organizations; serve as a role model to bridge CNL education with practice contributing positively to the professional education and practice environment; and promote change or collaboration within the education and practice systems to improve quality of patient care
“How humbled I am to receive the first CNL Vanguard Educator Award for my CNL advocacy,” Roussel said. “I have long been a believer in the role and its impact on quality patient and systems outcomes, and have appreciated the many opportunities I have had to champion the CNL.”
Roussel’s practice initiatives focus on clinical nurse leadership, academic-clinical partnership, and frontline engagement. A specific emphasis of her work has been on Transforming Care at the Bedside (TCAB) centering on how health care providers improve patient outcomes at the point of care. Roussel also has received Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) funding to establish Our Neighborhood Healthcare Clinic, a nurse-managed clinic providing care to vulnerable populations.
A previous nurse executive with more than 30 years of experience in health care, Roussel has served in leadership roles in acute, post-acute, long-term care, and transitional care management. She is the DNP Program Director and in her faculty role at UAB, she teaches courses in leadership, translational and improvement science, and Scholarly Project Design and Implementation.
Roussel has authored and co-authored nursing textbooks including Management and Leadership for Nurse Administrators, Initiating and Sustaining the Clinical Nurse Leader Role, Project Planning and Management, A Guide for CNLs, DNPs, and Nurse Administrators, and Evidence-Based Practice, An Integrative Approach to Research, Administration, and Practice. She also serves as a faculty mentor for doctoral students.
As part of her award acceptance, Roussel gave a presentation highlighting her experiences, actions, curricular innovations, and practice partnerships to advance and sustain CNL education and practice. Specifically, she shared being an early adopter of the role, and having opportunities to receive grant funding to develop and offer a CNL program, and market the role.