Nurses can play major roles in expanding access, improving patient quality and safety and reducing health care costs—all major goals of health reform. However, for nurses to be able to deliver, coordinate and direct care, we must build, empower and deploy a 21st century health care nursing workforce. One of our health care priorities should be to address the nurse and nurse faculty shortages. We must also promote policies that encourage more nurses to pursue advanced degrees to enable them to teach the next generation of nurses and to work in advanced practice clinical settings.
On May 28, 2009, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce announced a $22-million initiative, the New Jersey Nursing Initiative, designed to ensure that New Jersey will have the nursing workforce it needs to meet its future health care demands. These slides address the nursing and nurse faculty shortages in New Jersey, providing compelling data describing the potential health care crisis in the state. This potential crisis provided the impetus for the New Jersey Nursing Initiative, which is outlined in these slides.