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–www.CampaignforAction.org.

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:

  • An online community with active discussion and information-sharing to bring together people who want to advance the Campaign for Action's work.
  • Information on organizations that share the goal of transforming health care by focusing on nursing.
  • News on the Campaign's progress to date.
  • State pages showcasing the work of each state Action Coalition.
  • Evidence that describes the research and analysis upon which this work is grounded, much of it from the Institute of Medicine.

The new online community also offers opportunities for people to share the latest news; webinars hosted by leading experts across health care, business and government; discussions; a listing of Campaign for Action events around the country; and opportunities to ask questions and find resources and tools.

Campaign for Action Achievements

The Campaign has many notable achievements in its young life.  They include:

  • A public statement of support for seamless nursing education progression from community college and nursing education leaders, including the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the American Association of Community Colleges, the Association of Community College Trustees, the National League for Nursing, and the National Organization for Associate Degree Nursing.
  • Playing a major role in successfully pressing for a Graduate Nurse Education Demonstration Project funded by Medicare to support the training of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). The project will have five pilot sites and represents the first-ever initiative by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to support the training of APRNs.
  • A challenge by the Federal Trade Commission to laws limiting nurses' scope of practice in Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia.
  • The inclusion of Magnet status as an indicator of a hospital's adequate and competent nursing staff and nurse leadership in the Leapfrog Group's 2011 Hospital Survey.
  • The creation of a multi-funder research initiative to identify, generate, synthesize and share evidence essential to implementing the recommendations in the IOM report.

"The IOM's Future of Nursing report is truly a transformative and historic document," said Sue Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN, senior adviser for nursing at RWJF. "From the outset, we said that we did not want this report to sit on the shelf and collect dust. We have certainly achieved that goal. It is a living, breathing document that is helping to transform health care through nursing.  We look forward to even more progress in the months and years ahead."

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