The aims of this article were to describe the implementation of an academic-practice partnership for healthcare system workforce development and provide preliminary outcomes of the associated pilot study.BACKGROUND
The demand for cross-continuum healthcare delivery models necessitates creation of workforce development structures for advanced practice nursing.METHODS
An academic-practice partnership specified enrollment of 5 cohorts of BSN staff nurses in a 3-year DNP program. Qualitative methods were used to explore pilot data at midpoint of cohort 1 student progression to determine learning outcomes and DNP projects with potential for impact on organization goals.RESULTS
Partnership implementation experiences indicate that contractual agreements and an established evaluation plan are keys to academic-practice partnership success. Pilot study findings suggest that curriculum core courses provide a foundation for designing DNP projects congruent with acute and primary care health system goals. Implementing an academic-practice partnership is a strategy for workforce development to increase retention of advanced practice nurses.CONCLUSION
Academic-practice partnerships can serve as a catalyst for a paradigm shift for changing models of care, thus enhancing workforce development succession planning for sustainable growth in healthcare systems.