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  1. Harris, James L. DSN, RN, APRN-BC, MBA
  2. Tornabeni, Jolene MA, RN, FAAN, FACHE
  3. Walters, Sandra E. 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 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 create a new care delivery model needed to maximize the skills of the clinical nurse leader and the other team members to achieve better patient outcomes. In this department, the authors present a patient scenario using tracer methodology and delineate the role and functions of the registered nurse, clinical nurse leader, clinical nurse specialist, nurse practitioner, and other members of the interdisciplinary team.