Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Northwest Health Foundation Announce New Initiatives to Build the 21st Century Nursing Workforce

    • August 31, 2010

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the Northwest Health Foundation (NWHF) today announced nine new grants as part of Partners Investing in Nursing’s Future (PIN), a unique national initiative to help find innovative ways to create an adequate nursing workforce appropriate in size and equipped with the specific skills necessary to meet the changing demands of the 21st century patient population. The program provides support to local and regional philanthropies to act as catalysts in their own communities and to develop strategies for creating and sustaining a viable nursing workforce.

“We know that the overall number of nurses in the U.S. is growing, but there are many issues that need to be addressed in order to create the nursing workforce we need for the future,” said Judith Woodruff, J.D., director of workforce development at the Northwest Health Foundation and program director for Partners Investing in Nursing’s Future. “Investment by local philanthropy is essential for communities to come together to deal with challenges unique to their region or state.”

This marks the fifth year of PIN funding. The program invested more than $12 million in local partnerships. The 2010 partners will focus on key areas of concern in building a nursing workforce, including education, capacity, recruitment and retention, and diversity, leveraging more than $9 million in local and regional funding. During the program’s first four years, 88 foundation partners in 32 states and the island territories of the Western Pacific established over 300 local partnerships among nursing organizations, funders and workforce development boards to address the nursing and nurse faculty shortages. The new grantees will bring the total number of private philanthropic organizations contributing to the solutions to nearly 100 and expands the number of states represented to 37.

“As more patients gain access to insurance and enter our health care system, the need for well –prepared and highly experienced nurses will continue to rise. We are committed to finding the most innovative solutions to address nursing workforce issues so that we are able to meet this need for services and reduce the cost of care,” said Susan B. Hassmiller, R.N., Ph.D., F.A.A.N., senior adviser for nursing at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “The PIN program helps identify solutions on a local level and offers the support needed to transform those ideas into action.”

Through Partners Investing in Nursing’s Future, RWJF and NWHF are discovering successful models that can be replicated across the country. Nationwide, the projects represent a diverse group planning a wide range of program initiatives.

Grant recipients named today are:

1. Bingham Program (Maine)
Maine Partners in Education and Practice will re-design nursing education to create appropriate nursing professionals to meet the needs of the people of Maine, with a specific focus on long-term care and home care serving urban and rural seniors.

2. Caring for Colorado Foundation (Colorado)
Care and Career Transitions: Innovations in Home Healthcare, the Missing Link will develop new ways to increase the number and competencies of nurses providing home health care in Colorado.

3. Community Foundation of SE Michigan (Michigan)
Nurse Leadership Development in Southeast Michigan will address nursing workforce retention issues at acute and long-term care institutions in southeast Michigan through a leadership development program.

4. Dakota Medical Foundation (North Dakota)
North Dakota Partners in Nursing Gerontology Consortium Project will change the image of nurses across the state, focusing on the variety of practice settings and leading to an increase in American Indian and Latino high school students’ interest in the profession.

5. Endowment for Health (New Hampshire)
The New Hampshire Nursing Diversity Pipeline Project will expand ethnic and racial diversity of the nursing workforce and nursing education faculty by increasing awareness of the nursing profession among minority youth; strengthening academic preparedness for nursing education and increasing the number of nurses from underrepresented populations who attain an advanced degree and commit to teach in nursing education in New Hampshire.

6. Humboldt Area Foundation (California)
Humboldt Bay Regional Simulation Center will consolidate local nursing and health care expertise on the use of high-fidelity simulation as a tool to educate new nurses and upgrade the skills of practicing nurses. The collaborative will also serve as a Center for Nursing in the region, offering services, resources and opportunities for the health care workforce.

7. Texoma Health Foundation (Texas)
Texoma Nursing Advancement and Leadership Project will create a virtual regional network in north Texas and south central Oklahoma focused on increasing capacity of the current nursing workforce in all health care settings through career building, educational advancement and leadership development.

8. The Cleveland Foundation (Ohio)
Expanding the Number of Non-Traditional Nurse Educators through Online Education will increase educational capacity in Ohio schools of nursing by training non-traditional instructors to deliver high-quality online education to graduate and undergraduate nursing students.

9. The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey (New Jersey)
Nursing Academic Resource Center of New Jersey online program will be launched to assist first-year graduate nurses to succeed in their pursuit of a MSN degree.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 35 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. Helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in our lifetime.

Founded in 1997, Northwest Health Foundation is a nonprofit foundation that seeks to advance, support and promote the health of the people of Oregon and southwest Washington. We achieve our mission through a variety of means, including grantmaking, technical assistance and training, convening, commissioning research and supporting policy advocacy.