This article outlines how one community's academic-practice partnership evolved over time as it sought to address the community's needs for a qualified competent nursing workforce. Both organization and system changes were essential in the establishment of formal structures to address nursing workforce shortage needs. Both practice and education leaders were actively engaged in setting the strategic priorities at multiple system levels in the creation of these formal structures. We anticipate that the formation of these new formal structures will advance and sustain our academic-practice partnerships. Five key lessons were learned: (a) change is inevitable, (b) leadership matters at all levels, (c) succession planning is essential, (d) persistence toward established goals is necessary, and (e) relationships are the glue to sustain forward movement.
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