The Clinical Nurse LeaderSM: Impact On Practice Outcomes in the Veterans Health Administration

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARYThe Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) role was designed to meet an identified need for expert clinical leadership at the point of care.The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) became early adopters of the CNL role, foreseeing the value of this pivotal clinical leader at the point of care to meet the complex health care needs of America's veterans and shape health care delivery.Impact data were collected and assimilated from seven Veterans Administration Medical Centers to support how CNLs impact the delivery of quality and safe patient care and how practice changes could be sustained.Data collection and analyses resulted in many lessons learned.The new CNL role was implemented in a variety of settings in the VHA system.Integration of the CNL role in all areas of practice in every care setting has the promise of streamlining coordination of care for veterans across all spectrums in the provision of care.

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