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  1. Stanhope, Marcia DSN, RN, FAAN
  2. Turner, Lisa Pedersen MSN, RN


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 lateral integrators of care, patient advocates over the many components of the continuum, and information manager to the multiple disciplines involved in care. Practice and education partners are working together to define the curriculum for this role and to create a new care delivery model. In this article, the authors used the geographic information system technology to describe the diffusion of the education and practice partners throughout the United States and reflect on the growth of the partnerships since the project's inception in June 2004.