Rhode Island

The Rhode Island Action Coalition is the statewide coordinating body for implementation of the IOM report recommendations within the state. Rhode Island has specific health care challenges and needs, we are working with our colleagues both nationally and statewide to create and model innovative solutions with nurses leading the way.



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


Rhode Island is poised to advance pathways for a nursing workforce with higher levels of education and training through an improved education system ensuring that nurses can deliver high-quality, patient-centered care. We conducted a gap analysis with five out of six nursing programs using the “Nurse of the Future Core Nursing Competencies” to assess nursing program curriculum. Using this process as a framework, the nursing programs then developed a standardized bridge course to expedite the transition of both diploma and associate degree nursing students to the baccalaureate level. We also are examining the demand for advanced registered nurses practice nurses within the state so that programs at both the masters and doctorate level can accurately project and adequately plan.


Nurses bring a unique, important perspective to health care, higher education, business and policy discussions. Faced with Rhode Island’s profound health care challenges, nurses at all levels must be prepared and be provided the opportunity to contribute their valued perspective.


We understand that communicating the value of nursing leadership, and building alliances 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. To that end, our goal is to engage Rhode Island nurses and provide them with opportunities to lead. In collaboration with the Rhode Island AARP, we plan to expand on an earlier statewide efforts focusing on increasing the presence of nurses on boards across the state.


Rhode Island has favorable laws allowing for nurses to practice to full extent of their education and training; however, reimbursement for services provided by nurses is lower than anywhere in New England, limiting the care that nurses are able provide.


In order to better enable nurses to meet the health care needs of Rhode Island residents, we are developing strategic partnerships and working to improve regulations and legislation regarding advanced practice registered nurse practice and reimbursement.

Interprofessional Collaboration

The needs of patients in Rhode Island are becoming increasingly more diverse, and many residents have complex health issues that call for a team of health care professionals to manage. Nursing education must evolve to embrace benefits of interprofessional collaboration.


Our goal is to foster an integrated curriculum that provides for all students to experience interprofessional learning before graduation.   We are part of a three state Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Partners Investing in Nursing’s Future - grant to develop an interprofessional education collaborative among the states of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. A comparison of all current educational activities related to interprofessional education competencies has been conducted and is now being used to identify gaps and develop new collaborative course opportunities for nursing, medicine, pharmacy and social work.


Rhode Island’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.


Effective nursing workforce/education planning and policy making requires better data collection and an improved information infrastructure. Many complexities and lack of infrastructure make collection of nursing workforce and education data a challenge nationally, and for all states, including Rhode Island.


We recognize the need for both nursing workforce as well as nursing education data and we have formed several key partnerships to improve the collaboration and consistency in data collection and reporting. The immediate goal is to produce collaborative statewide summary. Additionally, the Action Coalition’s Co-lead Dr. Lynne Dunphy was appointed to the Governor’s Taskforce on health care reform, which has a data subcommittee, as well as Lieutenant Governor’s Taskforce on Health Care Reform. 



Sandra Fournier, Director, Living Rite Center of Seven Hills 

Jeanette Matrone, Routhier Executive in Residence URI

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Rhode Island Center for Nursing Excellence

Lifespan Learning Institute

AARP Rhode Island 

CARE New England, Workforce Development

Community College of Rhode Island, Health & Rehabilitative Services, 

Hospital Association of Rhode Island (HARI) Center for Health Professions

Kent Hospital

Miriam Hospital

Rhode Island Board of Nurse Registration and Nursing Education

Rhode Island College, School of Nursing

Rhode Island Division of Labor and Training

Rhode Island Healthcare Association (Long term Care)

Rhode Island Sate Nurses Association

RIH Trust and Labor Management Coalition, Stepping Up

Salve Regina University, Department of Nursing

St. Joseph School of Nursing, Charter Care Health Partners

University of Rhode Island, College of Nursing

University of Rhode Island, Dept. of Economics, Division of Research, Schmidt Labor Research Center


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