Dates of Program: July 1992 to January 1998
Field of Work: Career advancement and health care work force education in nursing.
Problem Synopsis: In the late 1980s and into the 1990s, the nation's nursing work force was overwhelmingly white and female. Although upwards of 25 percent of US residents were minority, only approximately 18 percent of RNs were non-white. However, studies had shown that when nursing caregivers and patients were from similar cultural and ethnic backgrounds, patient outcomes improved and patients' perceptions of the quality of care also improved. During this time period, the demand for nurses increased such that despite increases in nursing school enrollments, nursing supply shortages persisted across the nation.
Synopsis of the Work: Originally conceived and rolled out in New York City in 1988 as Project L.I.N.C., Ladders in Nursing Careers provided financial resources and support services to qualified low income and minority, entry- and mid-level hospital and nursing home employees to help them advance into licensed practical nurse (LPN) and registered nurse (RN) positions. Because of the original project's positive results, in 1992 the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) decided to expand Project L.I.N.C. to a national scale.
The national program's eight sites—Georgia, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Texas—had the following accomplishments: