three. Recognizing that a critical mass of schools, all embarked on a similar mission, was essential to achieving this goal, Penn sought a capacity-building partner.
In 1998, the Penn School of Nursing and The Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation of New York established the Penn Macy Initiative, a comprehensive institute and consultative technical assistance program created to help schools of nursing in research-intensive environments create and advance academic practice. At the time the Penn Macy Initiative was established, there were approximately 100 schools in research-intensive environments nationwide. Collaborating were the AACN and the Regional Nursing Centers Consortium (RNCC) (the Greater Philadelphia region contains the largest concentration of nursing centers of any region in the country, an effort the Philadelphia- based Independence Foundation has been helpful in supporting).
The Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation provided a generous grant to underwrite program planning and initial implementation. The Penn Macy Initiative featured two intensive, 5- day summer institutes, one each in 1999 and 2000, followed by a year-long program of consultative technical assistance (CTAP). A target of 10 different schools per year was set to build a critical mass (a minimum of 20 per cent of eligible schools overall). The summer institutes were modeled after the highly successful Johnson and Johnson– Wharton Fellows Program in Management for Nurse Executives. This model has been shown to be an effective way to disseminate and evaluate information, generate new ideas, and move national agendas forward (Rovin & Ginsberg, 1988).
One person alone in an organization cannot accomplish the development of academic practices. It requires the merging of at least three perspectives: clinical practice, clinical research, and practice/financial administration—a set of knowledge and skills rarely found in a single faculty member. Further, early buy-in from key players within the school and university systems is essential to make the changes necessary to establish and sustain academic practices. With these important factors in mind, and building on similar successful models (Inouye, Acampora, Miller, Fulmer, Hurst, & Cooney, 1993; Phillips, 1997), the concept of Academic Practice Resource Teams (APRTs) was developed. Each school created a team of up to three people representing the strategic perspectives of research/practice nursing faculty, health care business manager or equivalent, and/or academic financial administrator.
For each summer institute, a maximum size of 25 to 30 participants was considered optimal for the type of direct, tailored experience that schools considered helpful to advance their practice missions. Participant ARPTs received up to 5 additional hours of individualized consultation per school in the months after each institute to further advance their practice development initiatives. A monthly Internet chat room and ongoing listserv enabled participants to consult and problem solve with their peers and experts after the summer institute.
Author’s final copy prior to publication. See J Prof Nurs 18(2):63-69, March-April 2002, for the copy of record. Copyright 2002, Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.