Iowa

The Iowa Action Coalition works to improve health care quality and access to health care for all Iowans. Understanding that Iowa has specific health care challenges and needs, we are working with diverse stakeholders to create innovative solutions with nurses leading the way.

Features

Education

If nurses are to be as effective as possible in providing high-quality patient care, they will need to be better prepared as care becomes more complex and moves into the community.    

Progress
The Iowa Action Coalition's RN to BSN Task Force is taking steps to ensure seamless progression from associate degree in nursing (ADN) to BSN, such as aligning admissions and prerequisite requirements for ADN programs with BSN programs. Starting in the fall of 2012, the Nurse Residency Workgroup will develop a competency-based curriculum that Iowa institutions could use as a template for their nurse residency program.
 

Leadership

Nurses bring an important voice and point of view to management and policy decisions.  We need more nurses to help lead improvements in health care quality, safety, access and value.   

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 are developing a plan to increase leadership opportunities for nurses in Iowa and will engage nurses at all levels to train and provide them with opportunities to lead. 

Practice

Clinician shortages will grow as the population continues to age and millions of newly insured Americans seek care. Solutions must enable nurses, as well as other health professionals, to practice to the full level of their education and training.  

Progress

The Iowa Action Coalition is looking at how to enable all health professionals to practice at the top of their education and training.  We are implementing strategies that improve patient access to health care services by leveraging partnerships with key stakeholders. With this network, our goal is to drive the necessary changes to regulatory and institutional barriers to ensure nurses’ ability to provide care across the state.

Interprofessional Collaboration

Effective coordination and communication among health professionals enhances the quality and safety of patient care. Health professionals working as integrated teams seek input from and respect the contributions of everyone involved, which allows each person to practice at a higher level. 

Progress

The Iowa Action Coalition recognizes the importance of fostering interprofessional education, training and practice.  We are building partnerships with diverse stakeholders, including physicians and other health providers, to support and implement models of interprofessional collaboration in education and practice.

Diversity

We need to make sure the nursing profession reflects the patients we serve, and that all nurses deliver culturally competent care. Underrepresented groups in nursing include men and all racial and ethnic minority groups.   

Progress

Improving the diversity of the nursing workforce is a priority for the Iowa Action Coalition. 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 Iowa Board of Nursing (IBON) has hired a data manager to refine their information about Iowa’s nursing workforce.  New reports from IBON will promote data-driven policy decisions that improve health care for patients and families in Iowa. 

 

leadership

Rita Frantz, Dean & Professor, University of Iowa College of Nursing

Mary Mascher,  Representative, Iowa House of Representatives

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