Category Archives: Center to Champion Nursing in America

Apr 3 2014

RWJF Scholars in the News: Medical debt disparities, nurses providing primary care, technologies that maximize time with patients, and more.

Around the country, print, broadcast, and online media outlets are covering the groundbreaking work of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) leaders, scholars, fellows, alumni, and grantees. Some recent examples:

In a study of women diagnosed with breast cancer, RWJF Physician Faculty Scholars alumna Reshma Jagsi, MD, PhD, found that Black and Latina patients were more than twice as likely as White patients to have medical debt and to skip treatments due to concerns about costs. Jagsi tells Reuters that “our findings suggest that racial and ethnic minority patients appear to be more vulnerable, as are those who are too young to qualify for Medicare, those who lack prescription drug coverage, those who reduce their work hours after diagnosis, and those with lower household income at the time of diagnosis.”

Expanding nurse practitioners’ role in primary care could help meet new demands on California’s health care system, as millions of previously uninsured residents gain coverage under the Affordable Care Act, according to Susan Reinhard, RN, PhD, senior vice president of the AARP Public Policy Institute. “We should make sure that the nurse practitioners can use every ounce of their talent for what is needed,” she tells the AARP Bulletin. “Consumers should have a choice of different clinicians who will suit their preferences and their needs.” Reinhard is chief strategist for the Center to Champion Nursing in America, a partnership of AARP, AARP Foundation, and RWJF and co-director of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action.

At a recent information technology summit, Ann O’Brien, MSN, RN, an RWJF Executive Nurse Fellow, discussed her work with Kaiser Permanente to leverage new health care technology to maximize nurses’ valuable time providing patient care. O’Brien explains that “you have to look at what can enable small amounts of change,” because saving seconds with each repeated use of rapid sign-on technology, for example, can mean gaining extra minutes in a day for a nurse to provide direct care, FierceHealthIT reports.

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Jan 13 2014

Feds Set Aside $45 Million to Strengthen Nursing

The federal government announced late last year it would deliver $55.5 million in fiscal 2013 to programs designed to strengthen, diversify, and grow the health care workforce.

The bulk of the funds—82 percent, or $45.4 million—are targeted at nurses, the largest segment of the health care workforce.

The announcement came as welcome news to supporters of a national campaign backed by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and AARP that is working to transform the nursing profession to improve health and health care.

Many of the grants support the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action’s call for a more highly educated and more diverse nursing workforce and for more interprofessional collaboration among nurses and other health care professionals, according to Winifred Quinn, PhD, co-director of the Center to Champion Nursing in America, an initiative of AARP, the AARP Foundation, and RWJF.

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Mar 22 2012

Human Capital News Roundup: Dental care for underserved children, HIV/AIDS testing, "mixed-use" neighborhoods, and more.

Around the country, the news media is covering the groundbreaking work of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation scholars, fellows and grantees. Here are some examples.

“Louisville [Kentucky] is going high-tech to try to figure out what’s behind the city’s problem with asthma,” the Courier-Journal reports. The city will use technology developed by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Health & Society Scholars alumnus David Van Sickle, PhD, MA, that uses global-positioning technology to capture where and when asthma patients use their inhalers. Read a Human Capital Blog Q&A with Van Sickle on his work and upcoming projects.

Lisa Berkman, PhD, a Health & Society Scholars program site director at Harvard University, spoke to U.S. News & World Report about “Why Good Friends Make You Happy.”

Lucy Marion, PhD, RN, FAAN, an alumna of the RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows program and dean of Georgia Health Sciences University (GHSU) College of Nursing, was recently interviewed by the Augusta Chronicle for two separate articles. She discussed the merger of the nursing programs at GHSU and Augusta State University, and the work of the Greater Augusta Healthcare Network, which she helped found.

"Just about everyone now has heard of someone they know who's done something online that they wish they hadn't done,” RWJF Clinical Scholars alumnus Ryan Greysen, MD, MA, told Health Day. Greysen is the lead author of a study that examined the pervasiveness of physician misconduct online and the repercussions of those actions. “I think the message is that medical professionals are responsible for what they put online—not only responsible for the information, but accountable,” he said.

The Pine Journal (Cloquet, Minn.) spoke to Executive Nurse Fellow Julie Myhre, MS, BA, RN, PHN, about a local initiative to provide reduced-cost dental services for underserved children. Myhre, who is part of the Northeast Minnesota Oral Health Project, said the lack of adequate dental care for children has reached an “epidemic level.”

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Feb 29 2012

Building Leaders in Health Care

Physicians and nurses do even more than diagnose and care for patients. They mentor and guide those new to the field, manage units or entire organizations, serve on boards and task forces, and in many other ways help improve the way health care is delivered. As the health workforce grows and reform transforms our health system, providers’ roles and responsibilities are changing as well—and those with strong leadership skills are likely to be in demand.

American Medical News reports that more hospitals are encouraging physicians to take on new and advanced roles by providing leadership education training. Such programs can vary in terms of the applicant pool and selection process, as well as the length and credits that are granted upon completion. The leadership programs also vary by source, with some provided by the health care organization itself, and others by academic institutions or professional associations.

The American College of Physician Executives (ACPE), for instance, offers a variety of leadership programs, including live conferences; computer-based, distance education; and on-site, customizable leadership development programs. ACPE spent twice as many days in 2011 teaching physician leadership courses as it had in previous years. The organization expects 2012 to show a marked increase, as well.

“It’s clear that we need physicians to do more than just run the medical staff,” James Rice, PhD, project director for the consulting firm Management Sciences for Health, told American Medical News. “But for physicians to go into leadership and management roles, serve on committees for the medical staff, take on part-time medical directorships, run accountable care organizations, [and] be on process improvement teams, a new set of competencies has to be developed.”

Nurses, too, are needed for leadership positions. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has long promoted nurse leaders, and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, includes several recommendations promoting nurse leadership.

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Feb 9 2012

New Resource for Aspiring Nurse Leaders in the Boardroom

The Center to Champion Nursing in America (CCNA), an initiative of AARP, the AARP Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, has created a new resource for nurses who are considering board leadership. This introductory program discusses the importance of nurses in the boardroom and offers guidance to those who want to get started building the skills they will need for board service.

The program consists of a PowerPoint presentation on the importance of nurse leadership in the boardroom and how nurses can prepare for the role, as well as video interviews with nurse leaders who have served on boards, offering their insights and discussing their experiences. Both are available on the CCNA website for viewing.

The Institute of Medicine’s Future of Nursing report recommends that nurses take on key leadership positions in order to lead change and advance health, including serving on boards, executive management teams and in other key leadership positions across all levels of the health care system.

A free DVD of the new program is available for use in presentations to nurses in their communities. It includes the PowerPoint presentation, a speaker’s script and video interview clips.

Watch the interviews.

View the PowerPoint presentation or request a DVD.

Dec 30 2011

We Must Bring Down Walls, Dismantle Barriers and Work With One Another

As we head into 2012, the Human Capital Blog asked Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) staff, program directors, scholars and grantees to share their New Year’s resolutions for our health care system, and what they think should be the priorities for action in the New Year. This post is by Susan C. Reinhard, RN, PhD, FAAN, senior vice president and director of the AARP Public Policy Institute. She also serves as chief strategist for the Center to Champion Nursing in America, an initiative of AARP, the AARP Foundation and RWJF.


Everything we know about the future of health care delivery tells us we need to build – and empower – a health care workforce that meets the real needs of patients and their families. This is absolutely essential if we are going to provide quality care that also is efficient. Doing this requires transforming how nurses are educated so that we can better meet patient needs in a changing delivery system that is expanding its reach beyond hospital settings to the community; and rewarding integrated care systems with a focus on patient-centered and interprofessional care teams.


The Institute of Medicine Committee on the Future of Nursing recognized this changing landscape. They understood that for nurses to deliver safe, quality and patient-centered care across all settings, they must achieve higher levels of education through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression. To that end, the committee called for increasing the proportion of nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree to 80 percent by 2020.

To help implement this recommendation – among the others issued by the Committee – AARP is collaborating with RWJF on the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action. The Campaign is coordinated through the Center to Champion Nursing in America 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.

Just two weeks ago, we convened the first of four regional meetings on nursing education – part of our Learning Collaborative on Advancing Education Transformation.

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Oct 5 2011

Mark Your Calendar: Webinar on Nursing Workforce Supply Data Collection

The Center to Champion Nursing in America (CCNA) will host a webinar October 11 from 3-4 pm ET on effective nursing workforce supply data collection, and why an improved information infrastructure is important for nursing workforce planning and policy making.

Kathy Apple, Chief Executive Officer of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, and Linda Tieman, President of the Forum of State Nursing Workforce Centers, will describe their collaborative initiative to gather and analyze data for a report slated for tentative release in early 2013.

An archived edition of the webinar will be made available on the CCNA website at a later date.

Get more information and register for the webinar.

Sep 1 2011

Interprofessional Collaboration: It's All About the Patient

Andrea Brassard, D.N.Sc., M.P.H., F.N.P., is senior strategic policy advisor at the Center to Champion Nursing in America at AARP. Read more about the work of advanced practice registered nurses here.


I became a family nurse practitioner after practicing for many years in home health and hospice. When you make house calls, you are a guest in a patient’s home, and “patient-centered care” is what you do. Patients and their caregivers benefit when the advanced practice registered nurse who is assessing the patient has the authority to prescribe needed pain medications, admit patients to hospitals and other facilities, and order needed home health or hospice services.

The Institute of Medicine report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, recommends removing barriers to care and allowing advance practice registered nurses to practice to the full extent of their education and training. Barriers to care such as requiring physicians to countersign documents add additional steps, increase health care costs, and delay needed care. The IOM report recommends amending the Medicare program to authorize advanced practice registered nurses to perform admission assessments, as well as certification of patients for home health services and for admission to hospice and skilled nursing facilities.

All patients, especially chronically ill patients and their family caregivers, need every member of the health care team to communicate and collaborate to provide high quality coordinated care. Interprofessional collaboration is a partnership that starts with the patient and includes all involved health care providers working together to deliver patient and family centered care. Nurse practitioners and other advanced practice registered nurses are educated and trained to collaborate with and refer to physicians and other health care professionals. But collaboration can have a negative connotation. Restrictive collaboration laws and regulations that require physicians to supervise or sign-off on care provided by nurse practitioners and other advanced practice registered nurses are duplicative and costly barriers to patient and family centered care.

When I moved to Maryland seven years ago, I had to find a job with a physician who was willing to sign a 16-page “collaborative agreement” before I could be licensed to practice. Two years later I changed jobs and joined a nurse practitioner-owned primary care practice in the District of Columbia. My education and training did not change when I changed practice venues from Maryland to DC, but in DC “collaboration agreements” have never been required.

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Aug 11 2011

Mark Your Calendars: Webinar on Increasing the Number of Baccalaureate Prepared Nurses

The Center to Champion Nursing in America (CCNA) will host a webinar on Thursday, August 18 from 3 to 4 pm ET to discuss the recommendation to increase the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree to 80 percent by the year 2020 from the Institute of Medicine report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.

The webinar will share newly developed national and regional resource guides, report preliminary results of survey research on nursing education redesign and collaboration, and launch a learning collaborative on educational transformation in nursing.

Speakers will include Susan Reinhard, R.N., Ph.D., F.A.A.N., senior vice president and director of the AARP Public Policy Institute and CCNA chief strategist, and Susan Hassmiller, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., Robert Wood Johnson Foundation senior adviser for nursing.

An archived version of the webcast will be available after the event on the CCNA website.

Learn more and RSVP for the webinar.

Jul 29 2011

Leapfrog to Report on Nursing Excellence; Ratings Linked to Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action

Susan C. Reinhard, R.N., Ph.D., F.A.A.N., is a senior vice president and directs the AARP Public Policy Institute. She also serves as chief strategist for the Center to Champion Nursing in America, an initiative of AARP, the AARP Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


As a nurse, health policy expert and as a consumer advocate, I have experienced the many ways that nurses improve patient safety and provide high quality care. One significant way is by ensuring that they are able to put into practice – and continue to build on – the qualities that make them stellar leaders at the bedside and beyond. That is why I was delighted this week when the Leapfrog Group announced that they will include measures of nursing excellence – as exemplified through Magnet status – in their annual hospital survey on quality and patient care.

Leah Binder, Leapfrog’s CEO, shared this announcement at a recent meeting convened by the Center to Champion Nursing in America (CCNA) – an initiative of AARP, the AARP Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) – which was very fitting: Leapfrog’s inclusion of nursing excellence in its survey is part of its commitment to the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, a collaboration between RWJF and AARP. The campaign aims to implement the recommendations in “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health,” issued in 2010 by the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

The Campaign is bringing together leaders from all sectors – health care, education, consumer groups, philanthropy and business – to ensure that the report’s vision is met: that all Americans have access to high-quality, patient-centered care in a health care system where nurses contribute as essential partners in achieving success. Leapfrog’s tremendous commitment represents a valuable business perspective on the importance of strong nursing leaders, with the ever-present ultimate goal of improved patient safety.

At the meeting this week, Leah told us that acknowledging hospitals for Magnet status is a big step, because it signifies a hospital’s commitment to nursing excellence as a direct path to better patient care. The designation is very difficult to attain; there are only 386 Magnet hospitals in the U.S. and five in other countries.

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