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Education Progression: We Need Mentorship and Support for all Nurses to Become Lifelong Learners

Nov 7, 2012, 9:00 AM, Posted by Linda Dedo

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Human Capital Blog is asking diverse experts: What is and isn’t working in health professions education today, and what changes are needed to prepare a high-functioning health and health care workforce that can meet the country’s current and emerging needs? Today’s post is by Linda Dedo, RN, MSN/MHA, medical center manager, University of Virginia, and co-lead of the Virginia Action Coalition Education Progression Workgroup.


Education progression is an important objective for today’s nursing workforce. I have been a nurse for 40 years and, as I reflect, my career has been an exercise in progression. I first became interested in nursing as a young teen when my mother helped me become a Red Cross candy striper. I did volunteer work at several local nursing homes until my senior year in high school when I enrolled in a vocational practical nursing program.

I graduated from this program at age 19 and began my formal nursing career. I worked in acute care hospital settings for 20 years and I always thought I was a good nurse. I was well-respected by my peers and well-liked by my patients. I collaborated well with the physicians and other health care leaders in my organization, but I was beginning to realize that I would need to return to school if I expected to continue to grow in my bedside nursing role in a large academic medical center.

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Action Coalitions at Work

Oct 3, 2011, 3:00 PM, Posted by mtomlinson

The Institute of Medicine’s Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health report was released on October 5, 2010. The year since has seen significant progress as nurses and other health leaders around the country work to advance its vision for change. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) recently announced 21 new state-based collaborations, called Action Coalitions, that will help advance the report’s recommendations. They join 15 Action Coalitions already in place, working in concert with the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action to improve health care for all Americans by strengthening nurse leadership and the nursing workforce.

The Campaign for Action has released videos highlighting the goals and the ongoing work of some of these Action Coalitions. This blog will feature all of them in coming days. Watch the first video, which features a leader from Virginia discussing the imperative for change in her state and what the state Action Coalition is doing to implement the Future of Nursing report recommendations.

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

Promoting Nurse Leadership in Virginia with a Partners Investing in Nursing's Future Grant

Aug 1, 2011, 4:06 PM, Posted by Amy Gillespie

By Amy Gillespie, R.N., M.S.N., Ed.D.

Nursing Advisor, Nurse Leadership Institute of Virginia


The Nurse Leadership Institute of Virginia works to increase nurse retention and improve client safety in health care institutions by increasing the leadership skills of nurse managers.

Realizing that nursing workforce issues are multi-faceted and require innovative approaches, the Richmond Memorial Health Foundation reached out to community nursing and other health care organizations – including the Virginia Partnership for Nursing, Virginia Nurses Association, Virginia Organization of Nurse Executives, and Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing – to develop the Central Virginia Nurse Leadership Institute.

With matching funds provided through Partners Investing in Nursing’s Future (PIN), a collaboration between the Northwest Health Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the consortium was able to cross organizational and territorial lines to develop an innovative, community-wide Institute to provide leadership skill development for nurse managers from all sectors of health care: public health, hospitals, academic health centers, long-term care, and home health.

The Central Virginia Nurse Leadership Institute accepted its first class of fellows in the fall of 2007. The success of the program led to a five-year sustainability grant from the Richmond Memorial Health Foundation and expansion beyond central Virginia. Nurses from throughout Virginia are now eligible to apply for and attend the Nurse Leadership Institute of Virginia.

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