The Indiana Action Coalition: Transforming Healthcare is the driving force for the implementation of the IOM report recommendations in Indiana. Understanding that Indiana has specific health care challenges and needs, we are working collaboratively with diverse stakeholders across the state to create and model innovative solutions with nurses leading the way.

Richard Kiovsky, MD, head of the Indiana Action Coalition, says the tradition of training health care professionals within their own disciplines–nurses training with nurses, doctors training with doctors–has to change to deliver better care to patients. Health care professionals should train in the interprofessional teams so common in today's health care settings.



If nurses are to be effective in working alongside their colleagues to provide high-quality collaborative patient care in Indiana, they, and all health professionals, will need to be better prepared as care becomes more complex and moves into diverse settings.


Indiana will advance pathways for a diverse nursing workforce to achieve higher levels of education and training by examining ways to increase the numbers of doctorally- and bachelors - prepared nurses. With a current nursing workforce of 4 percent of nurses prepared at the bachelors level or above, Indiana has a high bar to reach 80/20. Data collection efforts are underway so that future workforce needs can be met across the state. The Action Coalition is providing leadership and energy to promote interprofessional education (IPE) among Indiana’s health profession training programs. IPE curricular reform is underway and state-of-the-art simulation learning experiences are becoming more available for interprofessional learning throughout the state. Through the work of the Action Coalition, a taxonomy database of IPE experience, courses and opportunities for worldwide use is under development.


Nurses bring a unique, important perspective to health care, higher education, business and policy discussions. Faced with Indiana’s growing health care challenges, nurses at all levels have been encouraged to must step up and contribute their valued perspective.


The Action Coalition understands that communicating the value of nursing leadership and building allies are critical to providing opportunities for nurses to take on leadership roles in the future. At the same time, nurses must develop leadership competencies and identify opportunities to contribute their value to the team. It is the goal of the Coalition to engage Indiana’s nurses at all levels providing them with opportunities to lead and the educational resources needed to prepare for such leadership roles. For example, the Indiana Action Coalition is partnering with a unique network of regional patient safety coalitions to engage front-line nurses in interdisciplinary improvement efforts.


Indiana’s population is growing, as is the shortage of primary care providers. Current laws and regulations must be addressed so that advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) can provide the care that they are educated and prepared to deliver.


To ensure that nurses can practice to the full extent of their education, members of the Practice Committee of the Action Coalition are developing a white paper discussing the reimbursement of APRNs for the care they provide. The Action Coalition has identified organizational partners with whom to review potential changes to laws and regulations that could prevent additional patients and families in Indiana from receiving high quality health care from APRNs. This work will become increasingly important as more and more patients gain access to healthcare that was not available to them previously.

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. This remains a focus of the work of the Action Coalition and nursing across the state.


Indiana is becoming a leader in interprofessional education and practice efforts. Building partnerships with diverse stakeholders, including leaders in government and education, the AC is leading efforts to support, spread and implement models of interprofessional collaboration state-wide. Interprofessional education (IPE) has become a strong emphasis between schools of nursing, medicine and allied health, and state-of-the-art simulation learning experiences are available for nursing, medical and allied health students in many areas across Indiana.


Not unlike many other states, Indiana’s population is becoming increasingly diverse, and many residents have unique health care needs. The nursing workforce must evolve to reflect these changing dynamics.


Planning is underway with our colleagues throughout the state to communicate the value of diversifying the nursing workforce to reflect the state’s population. In order to better prepare for this challenge, the Coalition is looking to other successful programs as models that could be used for implementation locally.


Effective deployment of the health care workforce requires information – data – needed to predict the number and kind of health providers needed for the future and what skills they will need to bring to the table.


Admittedly, major gaps exist in the workforce data currently available for use in Indiana and the data needed to make good decisions in planning for the future workforce. Members of the Action Coalition are currently exploring partnerships with the IU Center for Workforce Studies to plan for data needs, collection and dissemination in Indiana. Once developed, the Coalition team will work to promote data-driven policy decisions that improve health care for patients and families state-wide. Currently, the Indiana Action Coalition is in a review process and working with the Indiana Center for Nursing and other partners to develop the minimum nursing data set with an emphasis on nursing supply and demand. This area will be a major focus for the work of the Coalition and the Indiana Center for Nursing in the near future.



Kimberly J. Harper, Executive Director, Indiana Center for Nursing

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