PRINCETON, N.J.—The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) today announced nine states that have been chosen to receive two-year, $300,000 grants through its new program, Academic Progression in Nursing (APIN). APIN will advance state and regional strategies aimed at creating a more highly educated, diverse nursing workforce.
APIN is run by the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) on behalf of the Tri-Council for Nursing, consisting of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the National League for Nursing, American Nurses Association, and AONE, which is leading the $4.3 million, Phase I two-year initiative. RWJF will support an additional two years of work at the close of Phase I, to help states that have met or exceeded their benchmarks continue to make progress.
The states chosen for the new grants are California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Montana, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Texas and Washington state. Each will now work with academic institutions and employers on implementing sophisticated strategies to help nurses get higher degrees in order to improve patient care and help fill faculty and advanced practice nursing roles. In particular, the states will encourage strong partnerships between community colleges and universities to make it easier for nurses to transition to higher degrees.
In its report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended that 80 percent of the nursing workforce be prepared at the baccalaureate level or higher by the year 2020. At present, about half of nurses in the United States have baccalaureate or higher degrees. While acknowledging the contributions of Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses and associate-degree-prepared Registered Nurses to healthcare, the IOM report says that a better educated nursing workforce is needed to ensure that our nation’s population has access to high-quality, patient-centered care.