The Florida Action Coalition is the driving force implementing the Institute of Medicine report recommendations and transforming health care through nursing in our state. Understanding that Florida has specific health care challenges and needs, we are working with diverse stakeholders to create and model innovative solutions with nurses leading the way.

Florida continues to make strides in the development of the Florida Action Coalition, instituting a formal relationship with the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence in Florida, and also inviting volunteers to serve on its Action Teams: Education, Leadership, Practice and Communications.  The co-leads, Florida Blue Foundation and the Florida Center for Nursing, are also developing a Florida Nursing Summit for November 13-15, 2013.  The summit will be a hybrid conference, with 200 participants in Tampa, 4 satellite locations around the state.  The Florida Action Coalition is also excited to announce a mini-grant program through the Florida Blue Foundation to suppor the work of the Florida Action Coalition. 



For nurses to be effective providers of high-quality patient care in Florida, they must be better prepared to deliver complex care in the community and all health care delivery settings. As of December 2011, 30 percent of currently employed Florida registered and advanced practice nurses have a BSN or higher degree.  The Florida Center for Nursing produces a bi-annual report of the nursing workforce, and data can be refined down to the county level. 


The Florida Action Coalition is advancing pathways for a diverse nursing workforce to achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression, with the goal for nurses to deliver high-quality, patient-centered care. To that end, we are focusing on ways to improve transitions within the Florida college system to provide baccalaureate nursing programs, specifically RN to BSN programs. We are looking at barriers to achieving advanced nursing education and how to lessen them – particularly time constraints and financial concerns.Current data are being used as a benchmarl for the Florida Action Coalition Education Action Team, which is developing a Toolkit for regions to address the educational recommendations of the IOM report.  This Toolkit helps regions develop a triad for leadership (education, employers, and commnunity) to address academic progression.


Nurses bring a unique, important perspective to health care, higher education, business and policy discussions. Faced with Florida’s significant health care challenges, nurses at all levels must step up, and contribute their valued perspective.  The Florida ACtion Coalition Leadership Action Team, with the support of an RWJF SIP grant, will be conducting a survey of nurse leaders in FLorida to gather data on leadership development, characteristics, and pathways to leadership.


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. In Florida, we are working to recognize our state’s nurse leaders, promote the education and development of nurses as leaders in Florida, and create pathways to identify and communicate advancement opportunities for nurse leaders in the state. The grant received from the SIP program has allowed us to deploy a survey on leadership to all Florida's nursing community.  These data will help inform our work to strengthen Florida's nurse leadership.


Florida’s population is growing, as is the shortage of primary care providers. Partnerships and collaborative efforts must be implemented to ensure that all nurses may practice and provide care as they are educated and trained to do.  The Florida ACtion Coalition Practice Action Team is benchmarking practice barriers at the policy and institutional level, to identify leverage points to address these barriers, and increase the healthcare workforce to provide quality care in Florida.


To ensure that nurses can practice to the full extent of their education and training, we will develop strategic partnerships, identify barriers to maximizing practice in all settings for the provision of high quality health care to patients and families in Florida. We are working to inform health care stakeholders of the breadth of education, roles, and responsibilities for which nurses at all levels are prepared to practice. Additionally, we will work to facilitate Florida’s physician and nurse leaders to articulate primary care roles and responsibilities within the health care system. We will continue to search for pathways to engage the medical community in discussions about improving patient care through the expansion of our primary care workforce, adn the development of a seamless system of care.

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.  Currently many professions are trained only with their peers, and not with representatives of other healthcare professions.


To ensure true interprofessional collaboration, we are building relationships with diverse stakeholders to support, spread and implement models of interprofessional collaboration in education and practice. Our Florida Action Coalition sets an example of the interprofessional collaboration we seek, with representatives from health care, insurers, philanthropy, family physicians, academia, industry and workforce development.  We are also developing best practice models for interprofessional education at Florida schools and colleges.  Soon, the Florida Blue Foundation will announce a grant opportunity for Florida organizations that are addressing interprofessional education, collaboration, and teamwork.


Florida’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 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. We specifically have included input from the Florida Alliance for Diversity in Healthcare on our Steering Committee.  Through the funding Florida received for the SIP grant, we have developed a Diversity Council to guide the work of the Action Coalition.


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. Though the Florida Center for Nursing provides extensive nurse workforce data and information, major gaps exist in other health workforce data.


Florida has long been a leader in workforce data development and analysis. Currently, we are working to understand and communicate existing and needed primary care workforce data, and to, ultimately, provide recommendations on how we can best build and deploy the health care workforce we need to care for all Floridians. Currently, we collect, analyze and report on nurse workforce supply and demand data, as well as nursing education programs throughout the state.



Mary Lou Brunell, Executive Director, Florida Center for Nursing

Susan Towler, Vice President, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation; Executive Director, Community Affairs, Florida Blue

Velma Monteiro-Tribble, Director of Grants, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation

Florida Action Coalition Website

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