Alabama

The Alabama Health Action Coalition (AL-HAC) serves as the driving force for transforming health care through nursing in our state. Recognizing the important work already underway in Alabama and with a goal of long-term sustainable change, AL-HAC leads the way to improve the health of the population.

Education

Nurses play a tremendous role in delivering high quality health care. Our goal is to increase the number of nurses with higher degrees to make sure they are prepared and ready to provide 21st century care.

Progress

Our education task force is working together to advance nursing education in Alabama. 

For example, Capstone College of Nursing at the University of Alabama initiated an “80 by 20” Task Force, bringing together community college and university nurse leaders to identify and remove barriers to progression across nursing degree programs. The task force continues to meet and is working toward shared competency model.

Leadership

Nurses bring a unique, important perspective to health care, higher education, business and policy leadership. Yet at the moment, nurses are underrepresented as leaders in all industries, Alabama and across the country.

Progress

We understand that communicating the value of nursing leadership and building allies are critical to providing opportunities for nurses to take on leadership roles. At the same time nurses must develop leadership competencies, and identify opportunities to contribute their value. We will engage nurses at all levels to train and provide them with opportunities to lead. To that end, we established Alabama Nurse Leaders in Education and Practice (ANLEP), which has developed guiding principles, mission, vision and values, and priorities.  In addition, the executive committee members were named and four priorities were identified. Work teams/committees were established to begin addressing the four priorities identified at our June 5 meeting.

Practice

Laws and regulations in Alabama can hamper access to high quality care provided by advanced practice registered nurses. This is especially troubling given our poor health status rankings and our rural environment.

Progress

To ensure that nurses can practice to the full extent of their education and training, we will develop strategic partnerships, and identify and learn from states with advanced regulations, in an effort to remove burdensome barriers, and provide high quality health care to patients and families in Alabama. For example, the Area Health Education Consortium’s (AHEC) goal is to improve access to primary care for medically underserved populations through health professions education. Additionally, nursing schools with advanced practice registered nurse programs are working collaboratively with the state’s two medical schools and have worked collaboratively to address primary care needs and the delivery of health care for citizens in the past. These efforts have fostered interprofessional education and practice initiatives.

Interprofessional Collaboration

Like many other states, Alabama has previous history of interprofessional conflict among all health care providers.

Progress

Our goal is to increase access to cost-effective, high quality care through interprofessional and community collaboration. The nursing schools with advanced practice registered nurse programs work collaboratively with the state’s two medical schools and have worked collaboratively to address primary care needs and the delivery of health care for citizens in the past. These efforts have fostered interprofessional education and practice initiatives.

Diversity

Like many other states, Alabama nurses and nurse leaders do not represent the diversity of Alabamians.

Progress

The more we include diverse perspectives and experiences, the better able we are to improve health and health care in Alabama. We will work with our colleagues throughout the state to communicate the value of diversifying the nursing workforce to reflect the state’s population, while also looking to other successful programs as models for implementation.

Data

Effective deployment of the health care workforce requires information – data to tell us what kind of health providers we will need and with what skills. Yet major gaps exist in the workforce data we now have.

Progress

The need for a health professions data repository has been identified as a long-term goal of this Coalition. The Schools of Nursing in Alabama provide data specific to their progress and are mandated to provide data to the ABN annually related to education program outcomes. The Health Workforce Development Task Force of AlaHA disseminates a survey each year to state agencies about health professions workforce, as do the state agencies. The question that we are faced with is how to coordinate the data that are being collected from these different organizations into one statewide database in which all interested parties could have access to critical information needed for policy and planning.

 

leadership

    Kathleen A. Ladner, past president, Alabama Organization of Nurse Executives, Alabama Nurse Leaders in Education and Practice 

    Carol J. Ratcliffe, immediate past president, Alabama Organization of Nurse Executives, Alabama Nurse Leaders in Education and Practice

    Jane Yarbrough, Quality Management and Plan Performance DepartmentManager, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama

    Lacy Gibson, Director of Human Resources, Alabama Hospital Association (Collaborating Partner)

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