The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded the Washington Center for Nursing its second $300,000, two-year grant in Phase II of its Academic Progression in Nursing program, according to a news release. The Washington Center for Nursing is the states nonprofit nursing workforce center.
APIN is advancing state and regional strategies aimed at creating a more highly educated, diverse nursing workforce. It is run by the American Organization of Nurse Executives 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 four-year initiative.
Action coalitions in all nine states that were part of Phase I of the program have met or exceeded their benchmarks, and are receiving funding to continue their work for two more years. Funding from RWJF to the states over the four years will total $5.4 million, according to the release.
Other states earning APIN grants
Additional states slated to receive Phase II APIN grants are California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Montana, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina and Texas. The grants will allow them to continue working with academic institutions and employers to expand their work to help nurses in their states get higher degrees, so they can be essential partners in providing care and promoting health, as well as more easily continue their education and fill faculty and primary care nurse practitioner roles. The action coalitions in all these states have been encouraging strong partnerships between community colleges and universities to make it easier for nurses to transition to higher degrees.
Washington’s use of grant funds
With the first APIN-Washington grant funds we identified barriers and supports for nurses to continue their education; increased access to BSN education through grants to four new RN to BSN programs; launched a diversity mentoring program for minority nursing students and novice nurses; and simplified the pathway from an associate to a bachelors degree in nursing by creation of a Direct Transfer Agreement between Washington community/technical colleges and universities, said Suzanne Sikma, PhD, RN, professor of nursing at the University of Washington Bothell and APIN-WA grant manager.
According to Sikma, the DTA resulted from a collaboration between public and private nursing education stakeholders including the Council on Nursing Education in Washington State, the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges, the Washington Student Achievement Council, the Council of Presidents of public universities, the Independent Colleges of Washington and the Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission.
Washington has a growing and older population with changing healthcare needs that demand a more highly educated nursing workforce, Sikma said.
Future goals of the Washington State Action Coalition include facilitating implementation of the DTA, increasing efforts to diversify the nursing workforce and identifying best practices for program replication to further expand access, capacity and quality of RN to BSN education in Washington State.