Faculty pursue improvement science

Quality Improvement Scholars program provides tools, knowledge for faculty

The UAB School of Nursing’s Quality Improvement Scholars fellowship offers Doctor of Nursing Practice faculty members the opportunity to work with quality and safety research faculty to ultimately improve outcomes. Through the one-year fellowship, faculty develop their improvement and implementation knowledge and skills, and are able to carry that knowledge to current DNP students.

Polson Shannon webShannon Polson, DNP, MSW, RN, LICSW, PIP, NEA-BC, CNL, CWCN, CFCN

MSN 2011, DNP 2019

UAB School of Nursing Instructor Shannon Polson is a 2011 alumna of the School’s Master of Nursing in Register Nursing program as well as a graduate of the School’s Faculty Quality Improvement Scholars program. Polson is a recent graduate of the School’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.

Polson has more than 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur and business executive, as well as more than 10 years of experience as a social worker. She joined the UAB School of Nursing in 2015.

As a DNP student, Polson’s project involves developing a toolkit for nurse practitioners opening an independent practice. Such a toolkit is necessary to improve health care and outcomes for communities.

“I don’t think of this project as just passing on a toolkit,” Polson said. “It is important that nurse practitioners have the tools to open a sustainable clinic and continue their practice because NP-led clinics are a needed resource in many communities.”

Polson entered the Faculty QI Scholars program in Fall 2017 in order to develop her knowledge of quality improvement and bring that knowledge into the classroom. The additional education, Polson said, is beneficial when instructing young nurses.

“I have been able to take quality improvement principles and use them in conjunction with my students to implement changes that directly impact them. Examples include streamlining the recruiting and onboarding process of VA Volunteers as well as restructuring clinical experiences to allow for diversity in acuity levels and integration of veteran-centered experiences across the duration of their program of study. When they see the direct benefits or quality improvement and participate it empowers them to do the same in their future settings.”

As a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard, Polson is also co-program director of the VA Nursing Academic Partnership (VANAP) Undergraduate Program, which establishes a pipeline for the development of VA Nurse Scholars. She was also an Alabama Schweitzer Fellow in the 2018-19 class. During the one-year fellowship, she worked to provide interim access to dually integrated health and mental health care for clients of the South Highlands Mental Health Outreach Project. She also arranged for a mobile clinic to begin site visits in the upcoming year.

Photo: Cori Johnson Cori Johnson, DNP, CRNP, AGNP-C

BSN 2010, MSN 2014, DNP 2017

Instructor Cori Johnson is a three-time alumna from the School of Nursing as well as the Faculty Quality Improvement Scholars Program.

Johnson is a board-certified Adult/Geriatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner and has a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Degree. She has a faculty practice as a nurse practitioner at the PATH Clinic, which provides care to uninsured patients with diabetes, and is a full-time instructor in the Adult/Geriatric Primary Care NP program.

Johnson chose to participate in the Faculty QI Scholars Program to develop her skills in safety and quality improvement, and since completing the program, she is now a Rapid Cycle Quality Improvement (RCQI) expert on two UAB School of Nursing grants. The Faculty QI Scholars Program not only opened up this opportunity, Johnson said, but allowed her to make a positive impact on improvement science.

“As a graduate of the UABSON DNP Program, I had knowledge about quality improvement, but the Faculty QI Scholars Program furthered my knowledge and allowed me the opportunity to apply meaningful quality improvement efforts in ways that are positively impacting UAB patients and students,” Johnson said. “Currently, I am conducting several data-driven QI efforts at the PATH Clinic, designed to positively impact patient safety, awareness and motivate participation in their own care. Completing this program has also provided me with the tools needed to mentor current DNP students as they complete projects and teach QI to pre-licensure students in the Registered Nurse Primary Care Scholars Program.”

Johnson is a member of Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society, the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and has been recognized for her quality improvement efforts through poster presentations and journal publications.

Read 478 times Last modified on February 24, 2020

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