Implementing a QAPI framework for improvement in an academic setting: A roadmap to success

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Designation as an accredited school of nursing (SON) requires “…. a comprehensive framework for ensuring quality in nursing education programs” (NLN CNEA, 2016). Although standards for accreditation of baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs are defined by agencies such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE, 2018) and the National League for Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (NLN CNEA) (NLN CNEA, 2016), methods for collecting, analyzing, or reporting data are not prescribed, resulting in wide variation in quality management processes among schools. The lack of a standardized approach can lead to inefficiencies, invalid or misleading data, and unnecessary stress for all involved in the quality management process (Hanna, Duvall, Turpin, Pendleton-Romig, & Parker, 2016). In contrast, hospitals and nursing homes frequently implement a quality assurance and performance improvement (QAPI) program, a well-defined, methodical approach to quality management. The QAPI model offers healthcare organizations a systematic, comprehensive, and data-driven strategy for maximizing outcomes (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), 2016). Recognizing the need to improve and standardize the processes for data collection, analysis, and reporting, this paper describes how leaders at one accredited SON collaborated to translate CMS's QAPI model into the academic setting, establishing the foundation and mechanism to ensure the quality and integrity of the SON's outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-17
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Professional Nursing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • Higher education
  • Performance improvement
  • QAPI
  • Quality
  • Systematic evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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