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Applying the PDSA Framework to Examine the Use of the Clinical Nurse Leader to Evaluate Pressure Ulcer Reporting

Polancich, Shea PhD, RN; Coiner, Sarah MSN, RN-BC, CNL; Barber, Rebekah MSN, RN, CNL; Poe, Terri DNP, RN, NE-BC; Roussel, Linda PhD, RN, CNL; Williams, Kelley MSN, RN; Cumbest, Heather MSN, RN; Noles, Kristen MSN, RN, CNL; Herrero, Ashlea MSHQS, LSSGB; Graham, Shannon DNP, RN, NE-BC; Miltner, Rebecca PhD, RN, CNL, NEA-BC

doi: 10.1097/NCQ.0000000000000251

The clinical nurse leader (CNL) role has been cited as an effective strategy for improving care at the microsystem level. The purpose of this article is to describe the use of the CNL role in an academic medical center for evaluating pressure ulcer reporting. The Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle was used as the methodological framework for the study. The CNL assessment of pressure ulcers resulted in a 21% to 50% decrease in the number of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers reported in a 3-month time period. The CNL role has potential for improving the validity and reliability of pressure ulcer reporting.

UAB School of Nursing (Drs Polancich, Roussel, and Miltner), and Center for Nursing Excellence (Ms Herrero and Dr Graham), UAB Hospital (Drs Polancich and Poe and, Mss Coiner, Barber, Williams, Cumbest, and Noles), Birmingham, Alabama.

Correspondence: Shea Polancich, PhD, RN, UAB School of Nursing, 1720 2nd Ave South, NB 352, Birmingham, AL 35294 (

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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Accepted for publication: January 3, 2017

Published ahead of print: March 20, 2017

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