New Jersey

The New Jersey Action Coalition, formed in 2011, provides leadership in transforming health care through nursing in our state. One of the first five Action Coalitions to take on this charge, we are focused on transforming practice, education, leadership and improving workforce data availability.

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Nurses are not educationally prepared to meet the complex changes in the future health care system and to transition effectively into their new roles across settings. The majority of nurses are employed full time in hospitals; however, only 41 percent are educated at the baccalaureate level. 

We are 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, ensuring that nurses can deliver high-quality, patient-centered. To that end, a Master Planning Steering Committee has formed with diverse members to address academic progression resulting in three pilot teams of both academic and practice partners.  A template for a transitions into practice for nurses across settings has been developed for New Jersey. The three teams currently are conducting a gap analysis using the Nurse of the Future Core Competencies©.  Education will begin for the entire state on the competency based model in the fall at our summit.  These competencies also have been used for the transitions into practice model for new nurses across hospital, home care and long term care facilities. Funding is being sought to support these two initiatives.  


Nurses need to take a leadership role in shaping health care in New Jersey. Nurses are frequently not comfortable taking a leadership role.


A database of New Jersey nurses has been created and housed at the New Jersey Health Association (NJHA) to provide easy access for governmental offices and organizations to select nurses for their boards. Ongoing educational programs on how to be a responsible board member is being conducted by the NJHA. Working collaboratively with our partners the New Jersey State Nurses Association and AARP, we held a Leadership in the Boardroom program for nurse leaders. We have successfully increased the number of nurses on boards in the state. Additionally the leadership team is recruiting nurses for all leadership opportunities in New Jersey such as the Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellows program, faculty scholars program and Leadership New Jersey. 


Barriers prevent advanced practice registered nurses from practicing to the full extent of their education and training, hindering access, quality and value for New Jersey citizens.  As health care transforms, our patients and families will face a primary care shortage.   

The New Jersey State Nurses Association is leading efforts without RWJF resources to educate constituents across the state and secure legislative support to remove the Joint Protocol for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs).  Assemblywoman Munoz and Senator Vitale are sponsors of the bill, which will be introduced in the fall of 2012.  A review of all regulations that limit nursing in New Jersey has been catalogued and is being addressed as they sunset. One example is the Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST). This has been changed to Providers Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment and provides the ability for APRNs to sign these orders for patients to ensure their wishes are upheld when they are no longer competent to make decisions. Additionally, four forums to transform nursing practice have been planned across the state to highlight nurses from all settings in how nurses live the recommendations from the IOM report.  Two have been completed, sponsored by the South Jersey Healthcare System and the VNA Health Group for the New Jersey Action Coalition.  There are two more scheduled for the fall of 2012.  


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


New Jersey’s population is becoming increasingly 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.


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.


The data work team spearheaded a national scan to look at how other states handled health care workforce data.  Thirty-five states were surveyed.  This has helped to provide a resource for New Jersey as we create a plan for the collection, analysis and distribution of health care workforce data. 
The New Jersey Collaborating Center for Nursing and the Center for Healthcare Policy will be taking a lead role in crafting a plan for the state and determining the financial requirements for the maintenance of such a database.




Edna Cadmus, Director, College of Nursing - DNP Program-Leadership Track, Rutgers University

Mary Wachter, Director, East Region State Government Affairs Genetech, USA, Inc.

David Knowlton, President, New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute

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AARP New Jersey
Chamber of Commerce
Horizon Foundation of New Jersey
Magnet Hospital Consortium 
New Jersey Collaborating Center for Nursing (NJCCN)
New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA)
New Jersey League for Nursing (NJLN)
New Jersey Nursing Initiative (NJNI)
New Jersey State Nurses Association (NJSNA)
Organization of Nurse Executives of New Jersey (ONE/NJ)

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