Future of Nursing Leading Change, Advancing Health

Posted by CNF President on May 2, 2011  |   1 Comment »

RWJF has spearheaded more than 20 programs, initiatives and studies aimed at
creating a vital, diverse and highly educated nurse work force. On Oct. 5, 2010 the Institute of Medicine released the results of a two-year, RWJF-sponsored study
titled “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.” This free PDF can
be downloaded from

According to the report, nurses’ roles, responsibilities and education should change
significantly to meet the increased demand for care that will be created by healthcare
reform. The changes also will allow nurses to advance improvements in the increasingly
complex healthcare system. The report focused on four key messages:

1. Nurses should practice to the full extent of their education and training.
2. Nurses should receive higher levels of education and training through an improved
education system that promotes seamless academic progression.
3. Nurses should be full partners, with physicians and other healthcare professionals, in
redesigning healthcare in the U.S.
4. Effective work force planning and policymaking require better data collection and an
improved information infrastructure.

Looking for Results
Nurse leaders such as Hassmiller of RWJF hope the report will stimulate more funding
to support the nursing profession. “We hope the IOM report will gain the attention of
other funders, including foundations and governmental entities,” Hassmiller says. “We
want them to realize that funding some of the issues that the IOM report has outlined
will result in better health outcomes for Americans.”

RWJF also is boosting support for nursing through partnerships with new organizations,
such as AARP. In 2007, RWJF joined forces with AARP to form the Center to
Champion Nursing in America. RWJF granted the center $10 million to work toward
increasing the nation’s capacity to educate and retain nurses.

“I’ve had a lot of different positions in my career, but this is the first time I’ve had the
opportunity to be in such a powerful consumer organization where I work with nursing
and non-nursing organizations to tackle some of the barriers we’ve been facing for
decades,” says Susan Reinhard, RN, PhD, FAAN, CCNA chief strategist.

To increase awareness about the importance of nursing, for example, the CCNA
convenes healthcare, business and consumer coalitions at national and state levels. It
also hosts national summits and forums and collaborates with the State Nursing
Workforce Centers to identify important data elements on nurse supply, demand and
education indicators.

Regional Efforts
While support from large organizations such as RWJF, Johnson & Johnson and AARP
is vital, the nursing profession also is benefiting from the philanthropic investment of
individuals who want to make a difference. The Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence,
for example, was founded by a New York couple who sold 15 pieces from their
collection of modern art for $44.2 million.

“We decided to support nursing because nursing needed a champion to elevate them to
the respect they deserve,” co-founder Donald Jonas says. “There is little understanding
about all of the preparatory work they go through.”

The Jonas Center provides scholarships for nurses pursuing education, as well as
grants for projects involving nursing leadership and innovative practices. The center
originally focused its efforts on New York City, but it recently has expanded to a national

On the West Coast, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, which was founded by a
couple from California, launched the Betty Irene Moore Nursing Initiative in 2003. The
initiative supports nursing schools, hospitals and other organizations in the San
Francisco Bay and Greater Sacramento areas and has allocated more than $120 million
to date. In 2007, the foundation allocated an additional $100 million to launch the Betty
Irene Moore School of Nursing at the University of California, Davis.

For Darlene Curley, RN, MS, executive director of the Jonas Center, studies such as
the IOM report are indicators that organizations are using resources to highlight the
importance of nursing. “I hope we are at a turning point,” Curley says. “Overall, nursing
is an underfunded area compared to other academic disciplines. Much more attention
and financial support is still needed to support nursing.”

Campaign for Action Names Wave II Regional
Action Coalitions

Campaign for Action Names 10 State Groups as Regional Action Coalitions to
Ensure a Prepared and Effective Health Care Workforce

Goal is Long-Term Change in Health and Health Care

The Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
initiative to ensure that the health care workforce can deliver high quality, patient-
centered care to every American, has announced the selection of 10 Regional Action
Coalitions. These long-term partnerships have been convened to move key health care
workforce-related issues forward at the local, state and national levels.
The Campaign for Action (CFA) is focused on preparing health professionals to lead the
change that will improve the health care system. It aims to maximize their contributions
to collaborative, interdisciplinary teams across the spectrum. In collaboration with
AARP, CFA is enlisting support across the health care spectrum and engaging
prominent leaders and organizations from government, business, academia and

“The Campaign for Action must work at every level if we are to initiate and sustain the
changes necessary to improve health care for all Americans,” said Susan B. Hassmiller,
Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., senior advisor for nursing at the Robert Wood Johnson
Foundation. “Our new coalitions will help shoulder this effort. They are essential to
fulfilling the campaign’s mission.”

The following states join the New Jersey, New York, Michigan, Mississippi and
California Regional Action Coalitions, which initiated their activities last fall.

  • Washington
  • Idaho
  • Utah
  • Colorado
  • New Mexico
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Louisiana
  • Virginia
  • Florida

Regional Action Coalitions function as a component of the campaign’s field operations.
Comprised of diverse groups of stakeholders from a variety of sectors, their mission
is focused on fostering inter-professional collaboration, the ability of all health care

professionals to practice to the full extent of their education and training, strengthened
nurse education and training and the increased participation of nurses as leaders.
Regional Action Coalitions will further CFA by capturing best practices, determining
research needs, tracking lessons learned and identifying replicable models.

“The uniqueness of each applicant’s coalition and their proven capacity were key
factors in our selection of these 10 geographically diverse groups from across the
country,” said Susan Reinhard, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N, senior vice president of the
AARP Public Policy Institute and chief strategist, Center to Champion Nursing in
America. “They have already made great strides in their states, and their Regional
Action Coalition applications reflected capable coalition leadership and clear goals and
objectives coupled with strong action plans.”

Twenty applications were received in February for this round of Regional Action
Coalition selections. CFA aims to ultimately engage groups in all 50 states. To help
build and sustain momentum across the country, states that have not yet become
Regional Action Coalition have access to campaign materials and communications for
use in the change efforts they have initiated in their states.

According to Hassmiller, “we are glad to see such enthusiastic interest from the states
in becoming Regional Action Coalitions, and look forward to reviewing additional
applications and again expanding the Regional Action Coalition community this

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health
care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively
to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with
a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve
comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 35 years the Foundation
has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the
problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to
helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation
expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org.
Amy Levey, 202-745-5116, alevey@gymr.com
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Media Relations 609-627-5937, media@rwjf.org

From the Center to Champion Nursing in America

Nurses Are Critical to Providing Quality Care

We need to pay special attention to this looming shortage because having enough nurses with the right skills is a

critical part of keeping patients healthy and safe.

Nurses save lives and improve patient outcomes. In fact, Americans treated in hospitals that don’t have enough

nurses experience more complications, such as infections, and longer hospital stays.

Nurses prevent medical errors and improve patient safety. Studies indicate that patients who have surgery in

hospitals with fewer nurses per patient have up to a 31 percent increased chance of dying than those in hospitals with

more RNs (Aiken, 2002). Nurses also help patients and families safely manage medication.

Supporting Evidence

Increases in RN staffing are associated with reductions in hospital-related mortality and failure to rescue as

well as reduced lengths of stays, according to a meta-analysis of existing studies (AHRQ 2007).

Americans treated in hospitals with more RNs per patient had lower rates of five adverse outcomes

(pneumonia, shock, upper gastrointestinal bleeding, longer hospital stay and urinary tract infection) than

patients in hospitals with fewer RNs. (AHRQ 2007)

A higher proportion of nursing care provided by RNs and a greater number of hours of care by RNs per day

are associated with better outcomes for hospitalized patients, according to a study published in the New

England Journal of Medicine in 2002 (Needleman, et al. 2002).

Patients treated in hospitals with more hours of nursing care per patient had up to 25 percent fewer serious

adverse outcomes. (AHRQ 2007)

A 2003 study found that surgical patients had a “substantial survival advantage” if treated in hospitals with

higher proportions of nurses with a BSN or higher degree. Every 10 percent increase in proportion of BSN

nurses in hospitals had a resulting four percent decrease in risk of death (Aiken 2003; 2008).

One Response to “

Future of Nursing Leading Change, Advancing Health

  1. LindaAngotto says:

    The American Nurses Association web site has many good articles.

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