A Decade of Partnership with a Lasting Legacy

    • July 15, 2015

After 10 years of extraordinary, unprecedented work in bringing together local nursing and philanthropic leaders to strengthen the nursing workforce and advance the nursing profession in their own communities, Partners Investing in Nursing’s Future (PIN) came to a close at the end of June.

The legacy of PIN, launched in 2005 by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the Northwest Health Foundation (NWHF), includes not only the past achievements of 61 partnerships in 37 states and the Pacific Islands. It also includes the future promise of relationships forged while taking on some of the toughest challenges facing the nursing workforce in five primary areas: diversity; public health; geriatric and long-term care; collaboration and leadership; and faculty development and educational infrastructure.

“PIN’s accomplishments are even greater than the sum of those 61 parts,” said RWJF Senior Program Officer Maryjoan Ladden, PhD, RN, FAAN. “PIN also has transformed the field of nursing by developing nurse leaders and helping nurses learn to raise funds, build coalitions and in other ways engage outside of their field. The bridges PIN built between nursing and other communities will endure long after the project ends.”

Seeded with initial grants to local foundations, PIN partnerships expanded over the life of the project, growing to involve nearly 140 foundations and more than 300 funding partners, including hospitals and health systems, workforce investment agencies, economic development programs, banks, private industry, individuals and others. PIN partnerships collectively collaborated with more than 500 partners and leveraged $12.5 million in grants by RWJF with more than $17.5 million in local matching funds.

“The new relationships between nurses and the philanthropic community have been especially valuable, laying groundwork for the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action and helping make it the success that it is,” Ladden said. “Through the Campaign and in countless other ways, PIN will pay dividends to the nursing field and the country for years to come.”

Most of PIN’s multi-year partnerships, spanning six cohorts, launched between 2006 and 2011. They were inspired by the program’s innovative structure, through which PIN provided grants, technical support and other resources to teams that engaged local philanthropies and other funding partners to match the RWJF grants and join in the work. This approach pushed nurses out of their silos and encouraged them to hone new skills, such as getting stakeholders on board, developing accessible messages, building effective coalitions and more.

“We are immensely proud that we maintained our momentum through a great recession, kept our eyes on the prize as the health care and nursing landscapes changed, and engaged so many new and diverse partners to make a tangible impact on nursing and health care,” said NWHF President and CEO Nichole Maher, MPH. “We are convinced that what has made PIN so extraordinary is the people—and the partnerships between nursing and philanthropic, business, governmental, and other partners in communities, states and even territories.”

Sharing PIN’s Lessons

Ladden added that “the PIN model has enormous value for other fields, and we take very seriously our responsibility to share the lessons we have learned.” Accordingly, PIN’s website will remain online as a permanent resource. Materials archived there include the PIN Legacy Compendium, featuring highlights from each of the 61 partnerships, three in-depth project case studies and a map depicting the reach of the PIN partners.

PIN also commissioned inspiring, educational videos, including a program overview and two partner-specific videos—one focused on the 2006 Michigan partnership, Nursing for Life in Michigan: RN Career Transition Program, and the other focused on the 2011 Massachusetts/Rhode Island partnership, Building a Regional Institute for Inter-Professional Education.

Additionally, RWJF featured a series of blog posts on the legacy of PIN, highlighting perspectives on the program’s work in Arkansas, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina and the Pacific Islands.

For a comprehensive look at PIN, read Ladden and Maher’s article “A Transformative Program, Ahead of Its Time,” in the November-December 2014 issue of the journal Nursing Outlook or read “Round Six Of Partners Investing In Nursing’s Future: Implications For The Health Sector, Policy Makers, And Foundations” in the July 2015 issue of Health Affairs.