Skip redundant pieces
School of Nursing

Academic Business Partnerships

KU School of Nursing/Cerner Partnership
Planting the SEEDS of Technology: Bridging the Gap between Education and Practice

Helen R. Connors, PhD, RN, FAAN, and Judith J. Warren, PhD, RN, BC, FAAN, and Timothy J. McNamara, MD, MPH, and

graphic depiction of Academic Business PartnershipsA jointly funded partnership between University of Kansas School of Nursing and Cerner Corporation represents a pioneering event for education and for the health care information technology industry. It marks the first time that a live-production, clinical information system designed for care delivery is being used in a simulated way for teaching curriculum content to nursing students. The impetus for this partnership arises from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) reports published in late 1999 and early 2001 addressing the quality, error and waste in the U.S. health care system. The IOM's recommendations clearly validate the curriculum changes and plan to integrate IT into the preparation and core clinical competencies of all health professionals.

The purpose of this academic--business model is to create an equitable partnership to fully integrate applied clinical informatics into an academic setting in order to bridge the gap between the potential and the reality of information technology in health care. This relationship is intended as a mutually beneficial arrangement to both parties involved. The project called the Simulated E-hEalth Delivery System (SEEDS) was launched in Fall 2001. It is designed to equip health professional students to better meet the needs of tomorrow and the challenges that lie ahead as care providers. Across the healthcare industry, there is an expectation that new graduates will enter the workforce having made the transition from the manual to the automated practice of health care; yet, until now, there has been little opportunity for teaching these necessary skills in the nursing and medical curricula.

The SEEDS project supports not only the future of health professional education, but also the multidisciplinary education of tomorrow's teams of health care providers. It provides opportunity to learn and practice clinical skills while reaping the benefits of state-of-the-art environments that promote learning through sophisticated technology. The benefit of this joint relationship between academia and business is seen in the reward of moving tomorrow's care providers ahead on the learning curve and helping to develop nurses that transition from novice to expert in learning how to best leverage applied informatics in their practices.

Objectives of SEEDS

  • Enhances the development of critical thinking and problem solving in the clinical learning environment.
  • Integrates online patient assessment, problem identification, treatment and evaluation while achieving documentation of best practice.
  • Demonstrates the impact that structured data and information have on patient care.
  • Provides the information infrastructure for evidence-based practice.
  • Promotes the dissemination and evaluation of knowledge and research..


Connors, H. R., Weaver, C., Warren, J., Miller, K.L. (2002). An Academic-Business partnership for advancing clinical informatics. Nursing Education Perspectives, 23 (5), 228-233.

Connors, H. R. and Weaver, C. (2002). Technology Column. Partnership for advancement of clinical informatics. Journal of Professional Nursing, 18 (2), 59, 112.

Warren, J. J., Connors, H. R., & Weaver, C. (2002). Clinical information systems and critical thinking: An innovative educational strategy for healthcare professionals. HR Pulse (Fall), 19, 21-24.

Warren, J.J., Fletcher, K.A., Connors, H.R., Ground, A. & Weaver, C. (2004). The SEEDS Project: From health care information system to innovative educational strategy. In P. Whitten & D. Cook (Eds.) Understanding health communication technologies, (225-231). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Additional Resources

Cerner Press Release: 10/10/2003
"Academic Medical Institutions Infuse Information Technology into Curricula."

The Honor Society of Nursing Sigma Theta Tau International newsletter article
"Nursing students in the product development lab: An academic/corporate collaboration that advances clinical informatics"

Center for Healthcare Informatics
Center for Healthcare Informatics announced at KUMC

Kansas Senator Tours KU School of Nursing
"Kansas Senator Sam Brownback Tours KU School of Nursing"

Cerner Continues to Modernize the Healthcare Classroom; First-of-its-kind IT program at University of Kansas School of Nursing expands to medical school; College of St. Scholastica also at the forefront of healthcare IT education
"Cerner Continues to Modernize the Healthcare Classroom"