Article American Academy of Nursing on Policy| Volume 59, ISSUE 5, P292-293, September 2011

The Future of Nursing Campaign for Action: State-level implementation efforts

      The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), in collaboration with AARP, has embarked on a national Campaign for Action that builds upon the findings in the landmark Institute of Medicine (IOM) report The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. This Campaign seeks to advance comprehensive health care change by fully using the expertise and experience of all nurses.
      RWJF and AARP are working with Action Coalitions that are coming together in states across the country, comprised of diverse groups of stakeholders including providers, policymakers, consumers, and businesses that can affect long-term sustainable change. Action Coalitions, led by at least 2 entities—representing a nursing and a non-nursing organization—are active in 15 states, and the Campaign plans to add up to 20 from among new applicants in September 2011. Our aim is to have Action Coalitions in most states by early 2012. Action Coalitions are identifying key changes they will strive to achieve, and are also capturing and sharing best practices, determining research needs, tracking lessons learned, and identifying replicable models. They receive technical assistance and communications support from the AARP’s Center to Champion Nursing in America. Action Coalitions will track their progress in fulfilling their objectives and share progress, challenges, and lessons learned across states as a community of change agents.
      Each Action Coalition has developed a strategic plan to further the Campaign’s goals and objectives that takes into account local and regional concerns. For example, the California Action Coalition, which includes the Pacific Business Group on Health and the California Medical Association, is building a solid organizational structure to help develop priorities and goals. Regional champions will help organize the Action Coalition within the geographically large and diverse state, and workgroups on each of the 8 IOM report recommendations are forming. The Action Coalition fielded a large survey to gain insight into organizational priorities and efforts already underway in California. The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at the University of California, Davis, is providing communications planning assistance, development and fundraising advice, and services and project management.
      In Indiana, the Action Coalition has taken advantage of the strong interprofessional ties between the Indiana University School of Medicine and the School of Nursing to further the Campaign’s goals of fostering interprofessional collaboration. In addition to offering an interprofessional clinical education program at Indiana University, the Action Coalition recently held an interprofessional education workshop. Pediatric surgeon Scott Engum, who directs the Simulation Center on the Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis campus, is serving as the co-chair of the Campaign’s Interprofessional Collaboration and Collaborative Care Action Committee along with Linda Finke, Dean of the Health Sciences School at Indiana Purdue Fort Wayne University.
      Washington is focused on furthering the Campaign’s goal of increasing the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree in nursing to 80% by 2020, with the state’s 32 community colleges agreeing to have their nursing programs offer 6 common courses that lead to an Associate of Arts Transfer (AS-T) degree. The uniform AS-T degree will ease the transition for students applying to BSN programs, as well as provide additional incentives for associate’s degree graduates to complete a BSN. This agreement represents a significant accomplishment for nursing education in Washington, where community colleges are all independent entities. By unifying around this degree change, nursing Deans and Directors are demonstrating a strong commitment to advance nursing education and streamline student progression across the state.
      Ongoing work in California, Indiana, and Washington provides a snapshot of the implementation action at the state level. We are pleased with the efforts to date, but we still have a long way to go, and we need your help. Since RWJF and AARP announced the formation of the first Action Coalitions in November 2010, the Fellows of the American Academy of Nursing have taken on instrumental roles in leading their Action Coalitions and helping to advance the Campaign’s goals. Your talents have underscored that to truly transform the nursing field and improve health and health care for all Americans, we need all 1500 Fellows to be involved in your state’s Action Coalition. Only with your leadership skills will we succeed. If you are not already involved, please get involved by visiting Let’s work together to improve patient care.