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  1. Wiggins, Marjorie S. MBA, RN, CNAA, BC


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. Nurses in this new role will be prepared at the master's level and will act as the lateral integrators of care, patient advocates over the many components of the care continuum, and information manager to the multiple disciplines involved in care delivery. 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 clinical nurse leader and other team members to achieve better patient outcomes. In this article, the third of 6, the author presents a summary of system drivers that are mandating the need for change and an overview of the Partnership Care Delivery Model. This model, which is being implemented at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Me, has been developed to provide the necessary support and practice environment for the clinical nurse leader to function as envisioned by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and its practice partners.