UAMS College of Nursing and Community Partners Lead Effort to Join Nationwide Coalition

By Nate Hinkel

The Arkansas Action Coalition will work with the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action to implement recommendations stemming from a landmark 2010 report by the Institute of Medicine called, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.” The campaign is coordinated through the Center to Champion Nursing in America (CCNA), an initiative of AARP, the AARP Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

“The expertise of our coalition members and our proven capacity were key factors in being selected,” said Lorraine Frazier, Ph.D., dean of the UAMS College of Nursing. “As a participant in the movement to maximize the contributions of the nurses who deliver health care in our state and nation, the Arkansas Action Coalition is excited to bring its energy and ideas to the groundbreaking effort.”

Since its release one year ago, the report has impacted the way stakeholders view the nursing workforce as efforts in nearly every state have begun working toward meeting its directives.

“We are thrilled to add the Arkansas Action Coalition network,” said Susan B. Hassmiller, Ph.D., senior adviser for nursing at RWJF and director of Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action. “The Campaign for Action must work at every level to build and sustain the changes necessary to improve health care for all Americans, and we know the contributions of the Arkansas Action Coalition will be invaluable as we move forward.”

The campaign seeks active participation from states, national organizations and individuals from health care, business, education, government and philanthropic sectors to ensure that the recommendations are translated into actions that result in improved patient-centered care. Implementation goals stemming from the recommendations of the report include strengthening nurse education and training, enabling nurses to practice to the full extent of their education and training, advancing interprofessional collaboration among health care professionals to ensure coordinated and improved patient care, expanding leadership ranks to ensure nurses have a voice on management teams, in boardrooms and during policy debates, and improving health care workforce data collection to better assess and project workforce requirements.

The Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action envisions a health care system where all Americans have access to high-quality care, with nurses contributing to the full extent of their capabilities. The campaign is coordinated through the Center to Champion Nursing in America, an initiative of AARP, the AARP Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and includes 36 state Action Coalitions and a wide range of health care providers, consumer advocates, policy-makers and the business, academic and philanthropic communities.

The Arkansas Action Coalition joins the announcement of 20 other states: Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.