Category Archives: Education and training

Nov 25 2013
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Bold Actions Lead to Decisive Change: The Future of Nursing Scholars Program

Heather J. Kelley, MA, is deputy director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) Future of Nursing Scholars program. Prior to this role, she was the program associate for RWJF’s Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative and a former vice president in a political advertising firm.

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Three years ago, the Initiative on the Future of Nursing at the Institute of Medicine (IOM) set a revolution in motion with the release of The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health report. Among the bold recommendations offered in the report was the call to double the number of nurses with doctoral degrees by 2020.

RWJF recognizes the valuable contributions that PhD-prepared nurse scientists and researchers make in the lives of patients and families. Their discoveries have the potential to change our health care system. However, as the IOM report suggested, we do not have nearly enough doctorally prepared nurses seeking new solutions to ongoing problems. Currently, less than 1 percent of the nursing workforce has a doctoral degree in nursing or a related field.

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Nov 14 2013
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Human Capital News Roundup: Retail clinics, urban crime, diversity in medicine, 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:

As the demand for nurses continues to grow and more people go into the field, it is important to encourage a focus on community-based health and population health, Yvonne VanDyke, MSN, RN, told Austin, Texas, NBC affiliate KXAN. Van Dyke is an RWJF Executive Nurse Fellow and senior vice president of the Seton Clinical Education Center in Austin, which is seeking to increase the number of nurses earning Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees.

A new program funded by the RWJF New Jersey Health Initiatives (NJHI) is enlisting ex-military members to help enroll people in insurance plans in the state. NJHI Director Robert Atkins, PhD, RN, an RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholar alumnus, told New Jersey Spotlight that veterans are well suited to the job of insurance-application counselors because “they know about service, they know about working in teams.” The New Jersey Hospital Association is hiring 25 veterans as certified applications counselors with the $1.8 million NJHI grant.

Diverse Education profiles RWJF Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Scholar alumnus and National Advisory Committee member Levi Watkins Jr., MD, about his work to promote diversity at Johns Hopkins Hospital. “The best way to recruit minority students is by example … and the intervention of mentors,” Watkins said. “Students don’t look at recruitment and diversity offices when they are choosing schools, but they want to see if there are faculty and students in the place that look like them.”

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Nov 11 2013
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Veterans Get Help Pursuing Nursing Careers

More than 1,000 veterans will obtain undergraduate degrees in nursing over the next four years with the help of a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration. The grant was announced earlier this fall.

The multi-million-dollar effort, known as the Veterans’ Bachelor of Science in Nursing (VBSN) program, will allow veterans to build on their combat medical skills and experience and receive academic credit for prior military training and experience. The program provides funding to nine institutions to recruit veterans and prepare VBSN undergraduates for practice and employment in local communities, and also develop career ladders that include academic and social supports, career counseling, mentors, and linkages with veteran service organizations and community health systems.

Participating institutions include three in Florida: Jacksonville University, Florida International University, and the University of South Florida; two in Virginia: Hampton University and Shenandoah University; as well as the University of Texas at Arlington, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Davenport University in Michigan, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

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Nov 8 2013
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New Mexico Governor Martinez Announces New Common Nursing Curriculum

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez. [Photo by permission of the state of New Mexico via Wikimedia Commons.]

At a news conference yesterday in Albuquerque, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez announced the establishment of a statewide common nursing curriculum, designed to increase the number of nurses with Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees in the state. She was joined at the event by leaders from the New Mexico Nursing Education Consortium (NMNEC), which led the effort to develop the curriculum and build partnerships between community colleges and universities.

NMNEC’s work is supported by the New Mexico Academic Progression in Nursing (APIN) initiative, a grantee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

Implementation of this curriculum in New Mexico will allow nursing students to more easily transfer credits from community colleges within the state, so they can pursue BSNs without having to physically attend large universities like the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque or New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. For the first time, state community colleges will be able to partner with one of these universities to offer bachelor’s degrees in nursing.

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Oct 29 2013
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The Doctors of Tomorrow Are In … School, In Record Numbers

More students than ever applied to and enrolled in the nation’s medical schools this year, according to data released by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

Compared with last year’s figures, the total number of medical school applicants grew by 6.1 percent to 48,014, surpassing the previous record, set in 1996, by 1,049 students. Another important indicator of interest in medicine is first-time applicants, and they increased by 5.8 percent to 35,727 this year. The number of students enrolled in their first year of medical school exceeded 20,000 for the first time (20,055), a 2.8 percent increase over 2012.

“At a time when the nation faces a shortage of more than 90,000 doctors by the end of the decade and millions are gaining access to health insurance, we are very glad that more students than ever want to become physicians,” AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, said in a news release. “Students are doing their part by applying to medical school in record numbers. Medical schools are doing their part by expanding enrollment.” Kirch pushed for an expansion of residency training to accommodate the greater number of students studying to become physicians.

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Oct 28 2013
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A BSN to PhD Partnership Program

Adejoke B. Ayoola, PhD, RN, is an assistant professor of nursing in the Department of Nursing at Calvin College and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Nurse Faculty Scholar. Mary Molewyk Doornbos, PhD, RN, is a professor of nursing, also in the Department of Nursing at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

IOM at 3

It is important to deliver high-quality care to improve health outcomes in the United States. This level of care can only be delivered by well-trained health professionals. Nurses are the single group of health professionals who have the most contact with clients, and are on the forefront of promoting delivery of high-quality care.

Adejoke B. Ayoola Adejoke B. Ayoola

One means of addressing the increasing demand to deliver the high-quality care proposed by the Initiative on the Future of Nursing, supported by RWJF and the Institute of Medicine (IOM), is the recommendation to increase the percentage of nurses prepared to enter masters and doctoral level education. Graduate studies prepare nurses to produce and use the best evidence in client care, which will improve health outcomes.

Calvin College Department of Nursing (CCDON), a private liberal arts college, and Michigan State University College of Nursing (MSUCON), a public academic institution, began a partnership program in 2012 to address this initiative of the Future of Nursing. This partnership provides opportunity for eligible students from the undergraduate baccalaureate nursing program to enroll in the accelerated BSN to PhD nursing program at MSUCON.

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Oct 23 2013
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Sharing Nursing’s Knowledge: The October 2013 Issue

Have you signed up to receive Sharing Nursing’s Knowledge? The monthly Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) e-newsletter will keep you up to date on the work of RWJF’s nursing programs, and the latest news, research, and trends relating to academic progression, leadership, and other critically important nursing issues. These are some of the stories in the October issue:

Three Years Later, Institute of Medicine Report is Fueling Innovations in Nursing Practice and Education
Three years after its release , the Future of Nursing report has become a motivational tool that is transforming nursing and improving health care across the country. Read about some of the national accomplishments and achievements of the state Action Coalitions, which are working to advance nurse education, remove barriers to practice, cultivate more nurse leaders, diversify the profession, collect better data about the nursing workforce, promote interprofessional collaboration and education, and more.

Waging War Against Drug-Resistant Bacteria
RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholar Jason Farley has traveled far on the path he set out on as a young university student, and the world is taking notice of his groundbreaking work to treat patients with HIV. His research focuses on the spread of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) and other antibiotic resistant organisms among HIV patients. MRSA poses a major threat to patients with compromised immune systems, and is increasingly placing financial burdens on health care facilities.

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Oct 1 2013
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Fast Track to a Medical Degree

With a primary care provider shortage looming, medical schools are trying a new approach to get physicians into the workforce quickly: condensing medical education from four years to three.

Mercer University (Georgia), Texas Tech University, and New York University offer three-year primary care programs, and will soon be joined by programs in Tennessee, Indiana, University of Wisconsin, East Carolina, and Kentucky, MedPage Today and Fierce Healthcare report.

Most of the schools are shortening or eliminating fourth-year clinical rotations to consolidate their programs, leaving the first three years—which often focus on medical science—untouched.

"We chose to do it on the clinical end rather than [the] basic science end because, as long as Step 1 is [and] as important as it is, our students need to be fully prepared for it,” Betsy Jones, EdD, vice chair of research in Texas Tech's Department of Family Medicine, told MedPage Today. “We didn't make any changes to the curriculum that would threaten our students' ability to do well on [the United States Medical Licensing Examination]. The changes are really at the fourth year level."

A three-year program also saves medical students tuition money, and allows them to earn money in the workforce sooner than in a conventional four-year program, according to Fierce Healthcare.

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Sep 30 2013
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Making Nurses’ Academic Progression a Reality

Maryjoan Ladden, PhD, RN, FAAN, is a senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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There is near-universal agreement among health care stakeholders and experts that the country needs to grow the number of primary care providers. If the health care system is to meet the growing demand for care that will result from the greying of the Baby Boomers and the influx of millions of newly insured Americans, we're going to need a bigger, better-prepared health care workforce.

That’s a point the 2010 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, made very clearly with respect to nurses. That landmark report also pointed out that health care is becoming increasingly complex as our understanding of illness grows and as the tools and systems we have available to combat it change and evolve.

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Sep 24 2013
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What’s Cooking? Med Students Learn ‘Culinary Medicine’

There have been some unusual cooks in the kitchen at the Johnson & Wales University culinary institute in Providence, R.I., lately: medical students.

Doctors-in-training from Tulane University have been cooking alongside Johnson & Wales students for several weeks, NPR reports, to learn about nutrition. This unique program, which debuted this year and was organized by Tulane’s Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine, aims to change the way medical students think about food and, ultimately, how they will talk to future patients about nutrition and healthy eating.

Many health problems and diseases—like obesity and diabetes—could be prevented by lifestyle changes such as better eating habits.

"We basically learn how to take care of patients when things go wrong,” Neha Solanki, a fourth-year Tulane medical student, told NPR. “I think that we need to learn how to be able to make nutritious meals and to discuss diet in an educated manner."

In addition to the collaboration with Johnson & Wales, Tulane’s Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine has built relationships in its own community. Medical students help with an “edible schoolyard” program at local schools, and host hands-on cooking and nutrition education classes for community members at the nation’s first teaching kitchen affiliated with a medical school.

Read the story from NPR.
Learn more about the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine here and here.