Role of Practice Partners
Practice partners have had influence on nursing education programs through multiple mechanisms. Employers identified shortcomings in the preparation of new graduate nurses and voiced concerns about the need for more focus on new models of care (National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice, 2010). Although these concerns were technically independent of academic progression models, the opportunity to contribute to education system redesign was a motivator for practice representatives to join the process. Program leaders were able to role model the benefits of employers as key partners with nurse educators in curriculum revision, especially those in Montana, New Mexico and Oregon.
Individual employer policies also affected academic progression. The absence of financial incentive to remain in school is a barrier to academic progression (Munkvold, Tanner, & Herinckx, 2012). Employers who are able to provide financial incentive or assistance with educational costs increased the likelihood of academic progression by AD nurses (Kovner, Brewer, Katigbak, Djukic & Fatehi, 2012). APIN grantees identified a number of other successful strategies through surveys and other assessments of practice partners. Promotion policies, flexible scheduling, formation of cohorts, onsite education, no-cost use of information technology services and mentoring all contributed to a culture that encourages nurses to advance their education.