Now Viewing: Future of Nursing

A Bright Job Outlook for BSN Nursing Grads

Dec 10, 2013, 9:00 AM

Graduates of entry-level baccalaureate and master’s nursing programs are much more likely to have job offers by graduation or soon after, compared with graduates from other fields, according to new data from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). A national survey of deans and directors from U.S. nursing schools found that 59 percent of new bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) graduates had job offers at the time of graduation.

That’s substantially higher than the national average across all professions (29.3 percent). At four to six months after graduation, the survey found that 89 percent of new BSN graduates had secured employment in the field.

“Despite concerns about new college graduates finding employment in today’s tight job market, graduates of baccalaureate nursing programs are finding positions at a significantly higher rate than the national average,” said AACN President Jane Kirschling. “As more practice settings move to require higher levels of education for their registered nurses, we expect the demand for BSN-prepared nurses to remain strong as nurse employers seek to raise quality standards and meet consumer expectations for safe patient care.”

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A BSN to PhD Partnership Program

Oct 28, 2013, 9:00 AM

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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RWJF’s First 40 Years Investing in Nurses and Nursing

Feb 19, 2013, 12:00 PM

For more than four decades, the grantmaking of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has advanced the nursing profession, supporting nurses in their efforts to improve care and strengthening nurses’ role in shaping the future of the nation’s health care system. The latest issue of Charting Nursing’s Future, RWJF’s periodic series of issue briefs, tracks the Foundation’s growing commitment to nursing.

The brief examines RWJF’s impact in five distinct areas:

  • Expanding roles for nurses;
  • Building educational capacity;
  • Demonstrating nurses' contributions to quality and safety;
  • Creating leaders for the 21st century; and
  • Bridging gaps in research and data.

Among the two dozen past and present programs highlighted in the brief:

  • Expanding roles. In the mid-1970s, RWJF played a critical role in the emergence and acceptance of nurse practitioners (NPs), supporting demonstration projects in rural areas of California, Alabama, Tennessee and New England. Subsequently, RWJF’s Nurse Faculty Fellowship Program helped create an intellectual home for primary care nursing, leading to the creation of master’s degree NP programs across the nation.

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A New Website Helps Mark Two Years of Progress to Transform Health Care Through Nursing

Oct 5, 2012, 8:00 AM

Two years after the release of the landmark Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, the nation's health care system is in the midst of dramatic change. As the largest segment of the health care workforce and the professionals who spend the most time with patients, nurses are playing a vital role in shaping that change, bringing experience and insight to efforts to improve access and quality and lower health care costs.

The IOM nursing report was a game-changer from the moment it was released. It has spurred tremendous activity across the country to implement its recommendations. Health care professionals, educators, policy-makers, consumers, and other stakeholders are joining forces in powerful and unprecedented ways to implement its recommendations – to significantly increase the number of nurses and nurse faculty, to help nurses earn higher degrees, and to promote nurse leaders in health care and public policy.  All this is in the service of making health care more patient-centered, equitable and accessible.

Much of this activity has been organized by the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, a joint initiative of AARP and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Campaign has organized "Action Coalitions" that are now working in 49 states to implement recommendations from the IOM report.

As its third year begins and it intensifies its on-the-ground work, the Campaign for Action is launching a new website–

The website supports the Campaign's work to improve the ways nurses are educated, trained and practice. It offers continuously updated news and information on nursing and health care to visitors new to the issue. It also features:

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How the Affordable Care Act Would Have Helped My Father

Jul 12, 2012, 3:00 PM, Posted by Susan Hassmiller

This is part of a series in which Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) leaders, scholars, grantees and alumni offer perspectives on the U.S. Supreme Court rulings on the Affordable Care Act.  Susan B. Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN, is the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Senior Adviser for Nursing and Director, Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action. This post also appears on Off the Charts, the blog of the American Journal of Nursing.


When I heard that the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act, I immediately thought of my father.  He suffered mightily at the end of his life. Plagued with multiple chronic illnesses, he spent his last year in and out of hospitals.  He received good hospital care, but his health deteriorated every time he left. He simply couldn’t keep track of a growing list of prescriptions, tests and doctor visits.  My father accidentally skipped antibiotics, which led to infections, which landed him back in the hospital. He accidentally skipped blood tests, which landed him back in the hospital. It seemed that every time he came home, he’d land back in the hospital. I lived thousands of miles away and couldn’t be the advocate that he needed.

What he needed was transitional care – he needed a nurse to meet with him during a hospitalization to devise a plan for managing chronic illnesses and then follow him into his home setting. He needed a nurse to identify reasons for his instability, design a care plan that addressed them and coordinate various care providers and services. He needed a nurse to check up on him at home.  Transitional care would have eased his suffering and enabled him to live better.

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My Own Story: Encouraging a Diverse, Well-Educated Nursing Workforce

May 6, 2012, 1:00 PM, Posted by Susan Hassmiller

Happy National Nurses Week! Today is National Nurses Day, and the beginning of a week during which we celebrate the contributions of this profession. The week fittingly ends with Florence Nightingale's birthday on Saturday, May 12. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has a proud history of supporting nurses and nurse leadership, so this week, the RWJF Human Capital Blog will feature posts by nurses, including leaders from some of the Foundation’s nursing programs. Check back each day to see what they have to say. This post is by Susan B. Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN, RWJF Senior Adviser for Nursing and Director, Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action.


Earlier this month I had the privilege of traveling to Montana to help some of the state’s health care leaders launch the Montana Cooperative to Advance Health Through Nursing. This new state-based Action Coalition is working to advance recommendations from the Institute of Medicine report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.

While I was there, I met with Native American nursing students and their mentors at Montana State University. They are part of the extraordinarily impressive “Caring for Our Own: A Reservation/University Partnership,” known as the CO-OP program. These students come from desperately underserved areas and, after they graduate, they will go back to their reservations to provide culturally-sensitive, urgently needed care.

At the Action Coalition gala, the recipient of the student award told her story, moving many of us to tears. When she was 17, she tried to commit suicide. It was a nurse who saved her life, and convinced her there were things to live for and gifts she had yet to share. She told the audience that the nurse had been her role model through hard times. It had taken her many years and she had overcome many more hardships, she explained, but she will soon graduate and give back in the same way that her role model had given to her.

She and her peers are the kind of strong, dedicated, caring professionals that nursing needs, our health system needs, and patients need. I came home invigorated and encouraged by all the Montanans I had met, and the promise of progress in this state.

Today is National Nurses Day, which begins the celebration of National Nurses Week. We are a diverse profession, serving patients in more ways, more roles and more settings than Florence Nightingale—whose birthday, May 12, concludes National Nurses Week—could have ever imagined.

I am proud to be a nurse, proud of my colleagues working to help patients all over the country, and proud that the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has a long history of supporting nurses in many roles, from research to practice to leadership and more.

RWJF recently announced the launch of the Academic Progression in Nursing (APIN) initiative, which will help state Action Coalitions in their work to advance the recommendation in the Future of Nursing report that 80 percent of the nursing workforce be prepared at the baccalaureate level by 2020.

I am an associate’s degree nurse. I started my nursing education at a community college, and at that time, I’m not sure I could even have imagined getting to where I am today.

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Diverse Partnerships are Key to Texas Team's Success

Mar 26, 2012, 1:00 PM, Posted by Alexia Green

By Alexia Green, RN, PhD, FAAN, professor and dean emeritus, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and co-leader of the Texas Action Coalition


Creating and sustaining partnerships is vital to the Texas Team: Advancing Health through Nursing—a state Action Coalition of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action. Although the Texas Team was only approved as an official Action Coalition in September 2011, we have been working diligently to recruit and build partners who can support the campaign through 2020.

The various state Action Coalitions—such as the Texas Team—are composed of multiple entities (mostly other organizations), which in turn are composed of multiple individuals. Engaging and maintaining interest and commitment from these multiple entities is a very real challenge for the Texas Team and other newly formed Action Coalitions, but it is vital to all our success in achieving our Institute of Medicine (IOM) goals in our respective states. As leaders we must strive to engage all these partners and promote a common vision toward achieving the IOM goals.

Key to our success in Texas has been the recruitment of BlueCross BlueShield of Texas as our lead business organization for the statewide team. BlueCross BlueShield partners with the Texas Nurses Association as our lead nursing organization to advance the health of Texans through our Coalition activities. The Texas Hospital Association was an early partner and has also been very supportive of our activities.

Other diverse partners that have joined our Coalition include Bell Helicopter. Yes, that’s right, the folks who make helicopters! (And no, they haven’t provided us with any rides yet!) But they are very committed to advancing the health of our state through nursing. Associates in Process Improvement, a group of improvement scientists (yes, those same scientists who work with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement) have also joined us because they too deem nurses integral to the improvement of health care across our nation.

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The Case for Nursing Education Progression

Mar 23, 2012, 12:00 PM

By Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA, President and CEO, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation


Change is a constant in health care. In the face of skyrocketing costs, system fragmentation, health disparities and an aging and sicker population, more care will be delivered in primary care and community/public health sites than in acute- and hospital-based settings. Yet we also face a primary care shortage and the coming infusion of 32 million newly insured people into the system.

To ensure an adequate supply of nurses with the advanced skills and expertise necessary to help bridge the gap while ensuring quality, higher levels of education are imperative. Thus, health care organizations, educational institutions and others are looking intently at the case for advancing nursing education as outlined in the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. Specifically, the IOM report recommended creating a system that produces more nurses educated at the Bachelor of Science (BSN) level and beyond.

Since its inception, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has understood the value of a strong, well-trained health care workforce. And we agree with the IOM report that the nursing profession has the potential to effect wide-reaching changes in the health care system. Further, we concur that an improved education system is necessary to ensure that nurses can continue to deliver safe, quality, patient-centered care required for the 21st century and beyond.

As I recently told, there are a number of things that hospitals and other organizations that employ nurses can do to facilitate education progression. And it is to their benefit to do so.

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RWJF Launches New Initiative to Support Academic Progression in Nursing

Mar 22, 2012, 1:00 PM

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) yesterday announced the launch of the Academic Progression in Nursing (APIN) initiative, to advance state and regional strategies to create a more highly educated nursing workforce. The $4.3 million, Phase 1 two year-initiative will provide funding to state Action Coalitions as they work to advance the recommendation in the Institute of Medicine report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, that 80 percent of the nursing workforce be prepared at the baccalaureate level by 2020.

The nine funded Action Coalitions will each work on at least one strategy related to academic progression and at least one related to employment for baccalaureate or higher-prepared nurses, to ensure demand for their services. Thus, academic-service partnerships are key to the success of this effort.

“Our Action Coalitions around the country have generated extraordinary collaboration between nurses and other leaders, who are working together to build a more highly educated and diverse nursing workforce, promote nurse leadership, support interprofessional collaboration, ensure that nurses practice to the full extent of their education and training, and improve data collection,” Susan B. Hassmiller, RN, PhD, FAAN, RWJF senior adviser for nursing, said in a release. “We are confident that the new models they create will be replicable and help achieve our goal to have 80 percent of the nursing workforce be prepared at the baccalaureate level or higher by 2020. Advancing a more highly educated, diverse workforce is essential to achieving the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s mission to improve health and health care in this country.”

The initiative will be led by the Tri-Council for Nursing, consisting of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, National League for Nursing, American Nurses Association and the American Organization of Nurse Executives.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Human Capital Blog. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors.

California Action Coalition Shares Secrets of Success

Mar 7, 2012, 1:00 PM, Posted by Mary Dickow

By California Action Coalition Statewide Director Mary Dickow, MPA


Over the past 16 months, the California Action Coalition has been engaged in a variety of activities to move the work of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Future of Nursing report ahead in our state. As one of the first five pilot states selected to host Action Coalitions, we have had the opportunity to test a few ideas that have been met with success, and we have had opportunities for growth. We feel the lessons we have learned during this period can contribute to the success of other states as they roll out their Action Coalition activities and to all of us who want to get the word out about this groundbreaking report.

One of our most successful initiatives has been overseeing “town hall”-style events to inform a broad audience of our work and to interest new volunteers to join our growing ranks across the state. The Action Coalition held its second statewide town hall event in Los Angeles on February 27, 2012. This “sold out” event, entitled: Partner With Nurses for a Healthy California, was held at the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. More than 110 people, including nurses, students, health professionals, consumers and representatives from area businesses and associations, registered for the event.

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