Health care systems continue to experience the sequential aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, with major care access, quality, safety, financial sustainability, and workforce considerations. Yet, academic-clinical partnership opportunities exist for transformational change, even when efforts to respond to a pandemic seem insurmountable. A nursing partnership between an academic health center nursing school and university health system provided short- and long-term support for the nursing workforce shortage during a COVID-19 surge. An academic-clinical integration framework guided planning, clinical support activities, outcomes achieved, technology innovations, and shared lessons associated with these efforts. The COVID-19 surge response steps included a call to action, preparation for surge support by the academic and clinical partners, and a team approach for clinical service delivery by faculty, students, and staff. Through the 6-week COVID-19 surge response, more than 10 000 hours of hospital nurse staffing were provided by nursing school faculty and students; over 770 worked shifts that provided approximately 30% of the full surge hospital supplemental staffing and approximately 46 000 vaccine encounters. Well-established academic-clinical nursing partnerships allow for quick pivots in the rapidly changing COVID-19 environment that can enhance nursing clinical proficiency and competency, augment clinically immersive learning, and reinforce analytics to measure health outcomes, lower costs, improve access, quality, safety, and workforce conditions.