Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Action Coalition is committed to implementation of robust, innovative solutions to ensure affordable, accessible nursing care services throughout the Commonwealth. Our diverse partnerships with consumers, business leaders, nurses and other providers, insurance providers, policymakers, educators, union leaders, and others advance innovative, revolutionary strategies to improve our citizens’ health.

Features

Education

Nurses must provide accountable, quality services across diverse settings, from critical, emergent care to preventive care.  Both generalist practice and advanced practice nurses must increasingly assume independent roles in patient-centered management, implementing evidence-based practice appropriate to their scope of practice.  

Progress

This challenge requires changes in legislative, regulatory, curricula, and insurance reimbursement and credentialing to attract candidates to nursing and to incentivize nurses to advance their education. To entice nurses to advance in education, several strategies are under investigation.  The following explorations are underway: across-the-board dual admission agreements between and among the state’s community colleges and its four-year universities; joint programming between institutions for preparation of advanced practice nurses; pilot testing of Educational Demonstration Units in select agencies; allowance by the State Board of Nursing for nurses prepared with baccalaureate nursing degrees to serve as clinical faculty for supervision of pre-licensure students; amendments to the scope of practice for nurses prepared with baccalaureate degrees; changes in State Board of Nursing regulations regarding approval of new advanced practice programs; changes in State Board of Medical Examiners regulations regarding supervision of nurse practitioners, and more.  Recruitment to nursing—both generalist practice and advanced practice—will depend on evolution of intellectually sophisticated and independent role functions that are themselves non-traditional in nursing. Our campaign will shift the culture’s expectations of the nurse to that of an independent, accountable, and outcomes-focused provider.  

 

Leadership

Nurses provide front-line, context-driven care to our citizens.  Seeing a holistic picture, their perspective is patient-centered, rather than reimbursement-focused or driven by professional goals.  As change evolves based on health indices and cost containment demands, nurses must provide leadership grounded in collaboration and outcomes’ expectations.  

Progress

The Pennsylvania Action Coalition will provide nurses with tools and skills needed to advance our citizens’ health. Our approach includes partnering with higher education institutions—both community colleges and four-year colleges and universities—to enable seamless advancement and with regulatory boards and insurance payers to remove impediments to increasing numbers of primary care providers unhindered by restrictions on their practice.   We will collaborate with nursing educators and accreditation agencies to allow experimentation in curricula in the areas of leading, delegating, collaborating, and managing health care delivery in diverse settings and with multiple health partners. 

Practice

Pennsylvania’s population is growing, as is the shortage of primary care providers. Outdated laws and regulations must be modernized so that nurses can provide the care that they are educated and trained to deliver. 

Progress

To ensure that nurses can practice to the full extent of their education and training, we are creating partnerships to pursue implementation of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing Consensus Model for APRN regulation. Our goal is to remove burdensome barriers to provide high quality health care to patients and families in Pennsylvania. We will also partner with regulatory boards and insurance payers to remove restrictions to full scope of practice for registered nurses and advanced practice nurses in delivery of primary health 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. 

 
Progress

We are building partnerships with diverse stakeholders, including physicians and other health providers, to support, spread and implement models of inter-professional collaboration in education and practice. Specifically, we are reaching out at the regional level to medical, dental, social work, public health, and allied health professionals to partner with us in our quest for a patient-centered delivery system.

Diversity

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

 
Progress

We will work with the state Department of Education and our academic colleagues throughout the state to provide seamless articulation between community college and four-year college nursing programs.  Efficient transfer between these sectors will increase opportunities for diverse student groups to advance in their careers.  We will also partner with the nursing regulatory board and professional nursing organizations to enable baccalaureate-prepared nurses to provide clinical education in pre-licensure academic programs; thus, increasing the marketability of BSN-prepared nurses. 

Data

Who is best to do what in which care environments?  Effective deployment of the health care workforce requires sustained collection, analysis, interpretation, and review of data obtained predictably and reported regularly.  Yet gaps in our current workforce database exist.  

Progress

The Pennsylvania Action Coalition will work collaboratively with our current infrastructure to collect targeted data. Employing our partners—the Pennsylvania Coalition for the Advancement of Nursing Education, the Pennsylvania Coalition for Nurse Practitioners, the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing, the Pennsylvania State Board of Medical Examiners, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Nursing Association, the Associate Degree Council, the Practical Nursing Association, and the Diploma Schools of Nursing Association—we will: identify data collected currently; determine where gaps exist; explore a central venue for data collection and analysis; and create an online system for data reporting and communication.  Once established, we will support data-driven policy decisions to improve health care for Pennsylvanians.

 

leadership

Betsy Snook, Chief Executive Officer, Pennsylvania State Nurses Association

Frances Ward, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Action Coalition

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