By John Grochowski
One year after the beginning of New Jersey’s participation in the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, nursing leaders look back with pride at the groundwork that has been laid, while looking forward to what can be done.
The campaign is a response to the October 2010 Institute of Medicine report, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.” New Jersey was one of the first states to come on board after the report’s release.
“The first year for New Jersey was really to build up our infrastructure and build partnerships,” said Edna Cadmus, RN, PhD, NEA-BC, DNP program leader-leadership track director at Rutgers University, Newark, N.J. “I think we spent the beginning of the process really trying to educate nurses and other members of the healthcare team about the report. We built an infrastructure with four areas that we were going to focus on, and those were scope of practice, education, leadership and data. We selected co-leads and membership that not only stand across nursing, we have funders as part of this process, legislators and AARP members.”
One message that came through loud and clear in the first year of doing research and developing plans is that nurses aren’t in this alone.
“It’s not just one profession’s success,” said Mary Ann Christopher, RN, MSN, FAAN, president and CEO of the Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey. “It’s really everyone working together. AARP speaks to us very regularly and we’re able to share where we’re going and they can say, ‘You know what, California is doing something similar that you might want to think about.'”
The first year of New Jersey’s Campaign for Action has been about research and developing plans to meet IOM goals including BSNs for 80% of nurses by 2020. Christopher said it’s also about reaching out to nurses to implement the mandates of the report in ways that make sense for individual situations. “It might be for a nurse in a community-based setting that she would run a community coalition on the isolation issues of the frail elderly, which may not be a role that a nurse would ordinarily seek,” she said. “That’s where I think the extraordinary momentum around the IOM report will ultimately come, by encouraging every nurse in every setting to understand it and know what the implications for them are in transforming the healthcare field.”Edna Cadmus, RN
Among the first-year accomplishments, Christopher said, was to establish a residency construct for nurses to move from entry-level practice in school to long-term and home care settings; development of a database of nurses who could sit on commissions and committees; and aggregation of a list of leadership development programs.
Now that infrastructure has been built, Cadmus said, “Year 2 will really be focused on funding and testing a lot of the work that we’ve done in the first year.”
And with a year under its belt, New Jersey also can take on a mentoring role to help guide states just signing on to the Campaign for Action.
“If there’s a specific area they have an interest in, like APN residency programs or the residency program for staff nurses, we’re all in this together so we certainly have no issue in terms of sharing what we’re doing,” Cadmus said.
Christopher added, “I was invited to present in New York with my New York colleagues. I also have been involved with some of the folks in the Dakota area, in the Nevada area. We have already been convening groups on teleconferences to share best practices and we certainly will continue to do that.”
Working with other states, as well as with financial backers, government and the AARP, all ties back into long-term partnerships to improve healthcare.
“We are partnered with many organizations and many people across the state,” Cadmus said. “I think that’s why we’re able to move forward, because of those partnerships.”
John Grochowski is a member of the editorial staff at Nurse.com Nursing Spectrum.