CSI virtual academy to support nurses on caring for underserved cardiac patients

April 30, 2021

Nurses caring for underserved critically ill cardiac patients at 10 hospitals across the country will participate in a cardiac-focused cohort of AACN Clinical Scene Investigator (CSI) Academy, a nurse leadership and innovation program from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), announced the association. 

AACN is providing the program free of charge to the hospitals, thanks to a $200,000 grant from Edwards Lifesciences Foundation and its philanthropic initiative Every Heartbeat Matters. The grant-funded program requires that the patient population of selected cardiac surgery critical care and/or progressive care units comprise a significant proportion of patients from underserved populations, with an emphasis on Black communities in the U.S. 

During the 12-month all-virtual program, teams of nurses from selected units will identify high-priority patient-care challenges and then develop, implement and evaluate solutions that result in quantifiable improvements. The program includes monthly education sessions and ongoing consultation and mentoring by AACN CSI Academy faculty, culminating in an online Innovation Conference where participants present their results to hospital leaders. 

AACN CSI Academy builds additional skills for direct care nurses and leverages their expertise, empowering them as clinician leaders who effect positive changes that improve patient, nurse and hospital outcomes. Nationwide, more than 469 nurses at 82 hospitals have directly participated in the program since its launch in 2012. In total, the program has touched over 1.1 million patients and 6,200 nurses, with an estimated total positive fiscal impact to hospitals of $84.2 million. 

Outcomes from previous CSI Academy cohorts include improvements such as decreasing hospital-acquired pressure injuries, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, patient falls, delirium, sepsis and length of stay, as well as increasing communication-related patient satisfaction and nurse satisfaction, among other factors. 

AACN offers online access to its collection of CSI Academy innovation projects ― including project plans, clinical interventions, data collection tools, outcomes and references ― as part of the program’s goal to inspire and empower as many progressive and critical care nurses as possible. With more than 104,000 unique downloads of project materials, the CSI innovation project library has become a resource for hospitals, healthcare administrators and clinical leaders seeking solutions that improve outcomes and reduce costs. 

In addition to the grant-funded AACN CSI Academy cohort, a 12-month Academy program is available to all hospitals and health systems. 

AACN has the release