The California Action Coalition serves as the driving force transforming health care through nursing in our state. Recognizing the important work already underway in California and with a goal of long-term sustainable change, we are leading the way to improve the health of the population.



Where and how Californians get health care is changing. Nurses play a tremendous role in delivering high quality care. To that end, our goal is to increase the number of nurses with higher degrees to better meet this changing environment.  


We are looking at ways to help nurses progress seamlessly to higher degrees and life long learning. This means removing barriers making it cumbersome and difficult for nurses to obtain higher levels of education. We are leading efforts to implement laws supporting seamless progression between the community college and state university systems. In June 2012, over 100 participants convened to define emerging effective practices related to the California Collaborative Model of Nursing Education. Collectively, we identified strategies to resolve remaining barriers and consider how to sustain and expand these programs across the state. With such strong partnerships in place, California is positioned to continue strategic discussions to overcome our current challenges. In addition, we are working on a “campaign” to educate nurses, community colleges, and health care organizations about the importance of continuing higher education and create a repository showcasing service and education partnerships demonstrating effective models for lifelong learning. 


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 in California and across the country. 


We are examining how nursing leadership is defined to develop a conceptual model to expand opportunities. Focusing on preparing nurse leaders, positioning nurses in leadership roles, and supporting nurse leadership in politics, we are collecting data on current opportunities for leadership development throughout the state and conducting a gap analysis. We also are educating the public about the role of nursing and nurse leadership through town halls to solicit ideas of how consumers envision the health care system of the future. We have held five town hall events, with several more in planning, to meet our goal of reaching out to all regions across the state. As a way to develop future nursing leaders are actively engaged with the California Student Nurses Association. Students have the opportunity to work with the recommendations they are passionate about and at the same time gain exposure to senior state nurse leaders. 


Laws and regulations in California can hamper access to high quality care provided by advanced practice registered nurses. This is especially troubling given our rising need for primary care services as we implement health reform efforts in the state. 


We are working to improve California laws and statutes to better meet patients’ needs and ensure all nurses can practice to the full extent of their education and training. We currently are looking at models – specifically the National Council of State Boards of Nursing Consensus Model for APRN Regulation – to align California’s regulation of nursing practice. We understand that making progress here requires the right partners, so we are looking across our coalition for diverse stakeholders and opportunities to help redesign the health care system to benefit patients and nurses. In addition, we are conducting a gap analysis for the four APRN roles and for RNs comparing the IOM future of nursing recommendations with the laws and statues of California. Once completed, we will publish the gap analysis as a compendium that includes the exact law, statute and other supporting documents that support the practice of nursing.

Interprofessional Collaboration

To ensure high quality, patient-centered care, nurses, physicians and other health professionals must collaborate in education and practice, and across all health care settings. 


We are working to build partnerships with diverse stakeholders, including physicians and other health providers, to support, spread and implement models of interprofessional collaboration in education and practice.


California’s population is becoming increasingly more diverse, and many residents have unique health care needs. The nursing workforce must evolve to reflect these changing dynamics. 


We will create partnerships with and 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.


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.


As a leader in workforce data collection and analysis, our efforts are focused on addressing and supporting data needs to accomplish our education, leadership, practice, interprofessional collaboration and diversity programmatic goals. Ultimately, we are working to promote data-driven policy decisions that improve health care for California patients and families.



Mary E. Foley, Director, Center for Nursing Research and Innovation;  UC San Francisco School of Nursing

Linda Zorn, Statewide Director, Health Workforce Initiative, California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office

Mary Dickow, Statewide Director

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American Nurses Association California 

Association of California Nurse Leaders

California Academy of Family Physicians

Kaiser Permanente

Providence Health and Services Southern California

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