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Press Release and Radio Interviews

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University of San Francisco Clinical Nurse Leader Students

Save $4 Million in Health Care Improvements in Sonoma County

SAN FRANCISCO—Nov. 30, 2011—The University of San Francisco is pleased to highlight the accomplishments of its graduate nursing students at the Santa Rosa Campus in a recent project entitled, “Saving Lives/Improving Health Care Outcomes/Saving Money.” As part of its Master’s in Nursing Clinical Nurse Leader curriculum, USF challenges students to apply their learning at local hospitals and health care facilities where they work.

This summer nurses from Sonoma County’s major hospitals, convalescent centers and academic institutions developed projects that resulted in significant savings, while improving patient safety and satisfaction. Studying to become Clinical Nurse Leaders, these experienced Registered Nurses combined their expertise on the job with skills gained at USF’s Santa Rosa Campus to produce outstanding results.

Projects included realigning staff resources in a community-based clinic, centralizing pediatric monitoring, and expanding skilled nursing programs to meet the needs of orthopedic patients. The range of fifteen projects yielded a savings of nearly one million dollars, $3.7 million in projected increased revenue with only $230,000 of expenses to improve patient safety. Total impact on SF Bay area health costs equals 4.4 million dollars. USF’s School of Nursing faculty member Dr. Melissa Vandeveer expressed her reaction saying, “Awesome! I am so proud of our CNL candidates. They truly exemplify USF’s focus on partnering with community organizations, and what unique and powerful contributions our students can make in the area. It has been my great pleasure to work with each individual to refine and clarify the projects, and see both our nurses and community partners grow in the process.”

The role of Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) addresses the critical issues facing the nation’s health care system. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), representing baccalaureate and graduate schools of nursing, in collaboration with other health care organizations and disciplines, introduced this graduate nursing emphasis in 2007 to prepare RNs for leadership in a changing health care system. Fundamental aspects of the CNL role include clinical leadership and decision-making, design and provision of health promotion and evidence-based practice, and population-appropriate health care to individuals and communities.

The University of San Francisco offers the Master’s of Nursing degree from its North Bay campus located at 416 B Street, Santa Rosa. For more information on this program and other graduate studies available at USF, please contact (707) 527-9612 or visit www.usfca.edu/santarosa