1. Tornabeni, Jolene MA, RN, FAAN, FACHE


The membership of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, in partnership with its practice partners, has initiated a national effort to create a new nursing role that is more responsive to the realities of a complex, technologically advanced, ever-changing healthcare system. This new role is the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL). Nurses in this new role will be prepared at the master's level and will act as lateral integrators of care, patient advocates over the many components of the continuum, as well as information managers to the multiple disciplines involved in care. Practice and education partners are working together to define the curriculum for this role and create a new care delivery model needed to maximize the skills of the CNL and other team members to achieve better patient outcomes. In this department, the author outlines the history of this endeavor, the progress of the work to date to make this role a reality, and sets the stage for future articles that will provide actual case studies of pilots and early outcomes experienced around the country.