The Tennessee Action Coalition is the driving force transforming health care through nursing in our state. Understanding that Tennessee has specific health care challenges and needs, we are working with diverse stakeholders 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 Tennessee, they will need to be better prepared as care becomes more complex and moves into the community.

Tennessee will advance 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 care.  The Action Coalition and partners are exploring a joint proposal for a transition to practice program for new graduates.  


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


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. 

On October 10, 2014 the Tennessee Action Coalition hosted "40 Under 40 " in Murfreesboro, TN. This event was held in order to equip participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to become a successful nurse leader. Adriana Perez, Assistant Professor and Southwest Borderlands Scholar, led the discussion of what it means to be a nurse leader how and how everyone has the ability to become one. 


Tennessee’s population is growing and changing, as is the shortage of primary care providers. Outdated laws and regulations must be addressed so that nurses can provide the care that they are educated and trained to deliver. The Tennessee Action Coalition is a proud advocate of Full Practice Authority in the state. 

To ensure that nurses can practice to the full extent of their education and training, the Coalition continually encourages APRNs to communicate with state representatives through events such as Legislative Boot Camp. This event was held on February 3, 2015 in Nashville, TN and with over 75 participants involved. Dr. Mary Chesney, Dr. Winifred Quinn, Brian Posey, and Christi Granstaff all shared strategies for APRNs to communicate with state legislators in order to achieve Full Practice Authority. 
Our Coalition will continue to host another Legislative Boot Camp later in 2015 and again in 2016.

Interprofessional Collaboration

To ensure high quality, patient-centered care, health professionals must collaborate in education and practice, and across all health care settings. 


We have gathered a strong Board of diverse stakeholders, including business, health providers, educators, and consumers to support, foster, and facilitate models of interprofessional collaboration in education and practice. 


The profile of Tennesseans is rapidly changing. It is imperative that the nursing workforce change too; and, that nurses deliver cultrually-appropriate care to the Tennessee's diverse populations.


The Coalition was proud to host the two-part Diversity Webinar Series. Dr. Shelley White - Means led Workforce Diversity Challenges in Nursing: The State of the Nation and the State in October 2014. This webinar discussed health disparities in Tennessee and how a culturally diverse nursing staff can better take care of its patients. Caring for Tennessee's Diverse Populations, led by Dr. Jana Lauderdale, identified how a culture is not just limited to ethnicity or nationality but also age and sexual orientation. Dr. Lauderdale also discussed best practices for caring for patients of various cultures.

The Coalition will continue to host webinars and other programs that support culturally competent care.


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.


Utilizing our strong partnerships, we have begun to collect Tennessee-specific data. We are looking at models from other states to further develop plans for data collection. With the intelligence we gather, we will work to promote data-driven policy decisions that improve health care for patients and families from Memphis to Mountain City.




Carole R. Myers, Associate Professor, University of Tennessee-Knoxville College of Nursing

Hannah D. Holder - Coordinator, Tennessee Action Coalition

Tara D. Shaver, Associate State Director for Community Outreach, AARP Tennessee

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